Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stephen Junk Crosses The Tsugaru Channel On Second Try

Stephen Junk heading toward the coast of Hokkaido shown below.

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Stephen Junk took a while, but he finally crossed the Tsugaru Channel in northern Japan off his Oceans Seven list.

"Last year, I went to Japan to attempt the Tsugaru Channel swim. But, unfortunately, I got very bad food poisoning from some interesting slug that I ate. This year, I kept away from food that was too adventurous. It played off," he explained.

On August 19th, Junk set out from the Honshu side of Tsugaru at 3:20 am. "At first, the conditions were great. There was a beautiful sunrise under partly cloudy conditions. I progressed quickly to the halfway mark. Then, as swimmers quickly become aware, a strong current came directly at me. Captain Mizushima [the boat pilot shown below] measured it at 4 kilometers per hour that made swimming quite tiresome. The water temperature dropped to 18°C (64°F) at this stage which was quite refreshing in the hard conditions."

After 11 hours 2 minutes of hard swimming without slugs, he climbed onshore on Hokkaido by pulling himself up onto rocky coastline. "I was very glad for that hard swim to be over."

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Honoka Hasegawa Hauls Between Honshu And Hokkaido

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

On August 24th, Honoka Hasegawa (長谷川ほのか) is a 18-year-old Japanese open water swimmer who became the youngest person and fastest woman to cross the Tsugaru Channel between Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan in 8 hours 31 minutes. She began her crossing at 3:39 am in 23°C relatively calm waters.

For video footage of Hasegawa's swim, visit here.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Friday, August 12, 2016

Abhejali Bernardova Swims Her 4th Oceans Seven Channel

Courtesy of Vasanti Niemz, Tsugaru Channel, Japan.

Endurance athlete Abhejali Bernardova of the Czech Republic was as fortunate as Polish endurance athlete Boguslaw Stanislaw Ogrodnik was unfortunate.

The two athletes were waiting on the shores of Tappi Misaki in northern Japan for their windows to cross the Tsugaru Channel.

While Ogrodnik's chances were blown out due to the strong wind conditions caused by a typhoon, Bernardova took advantage of the calm after the storm.

"She finished perfectly at the foot of the lighthouse; only 3 swimmers or so have done that before," reported Vasanti Niemz. "Her 11 hour 7 minute swim was done in warm calm water (23°C). Captain Mizushima said it was the calmest day he has seen this year.

There were no tricky currents at the end, and it was a perfect route. There were tiny waves and almost no wind.

The team and the swimmer were very happy of course. It was a first of our Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team

Bernardova is the first Czech swimmer to complete a crossing of the Tsugaru Channel. She left the shores of Honshu at 3:31 am, a short time before sunrise.

Her escort team that oversaw her fourth Oceans Seven channel included Uddyogini Hall from Australia, escort pilot Captain Mizushima from Tappi Misaki, observer Mika Tokairin from Tokyo, sister Jana Bernadova from London, and sister`s fiancé Tiago, and Harashita of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Japan.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association