Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jorge Crivilles Villanueva Triumphs In The Tsugaru

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Jorge Crivilles Villanueva from Alicante, Spain is gradually knocking off all kinds of goals in the open water swimming world: Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, 24-hour Club, and is en route to the Oceans Seven with four crossings of the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, and as of today, the Tsugaru Channnel.

Crivilles completed a fast 8 hour 29 minute crossing from Honshu to Hokkaido today - the first Spaniard to swim the Tsugaru Channel.

Tom Morgenstern of Revista Open Swim reported in Spanish, "Increíble experiencia la vivida en el Cruce Canal Tsugaru hoy en Japón. Jorge Crivilles ha demostrado una vez más que es un impresionante deportista, superando, a base de fuerza física, y sobretodo mental a un Canal Tsugaru que nos ha mostrado su cara más fea."

[Jorge had an amazing experience during his crossing of the Tsugaru Channel today in Japan. He has shown once again that he is an impressive athlete, surpassing, based on physical strength, and mostly mental to a channel that has shown us its ugliest face.]

The Tsugaru Current and winds whipped up during the crossing that started at 12:52 am in water that ranged from 19°C to 22°C. "It was a great time and ideal pacing for the channel that was so turbulent today," remarked Steven Munatones.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Crossing Channels And Cultures

Courtesy of WOWSA.

We love it when we see photos, videos and conversations between swimmers, escort crew members, and pilots from different cultures, especially when those people are brought together by their passion for the open water.

In 2015, Mexican entrepreneur Antonio Argüelles traveled to northern Japan and crossed the Tsugaru Channel in 12 hours 38 minutes.

Now the two-time 57-year-old Triple Crowner is making his final preparations for swimming between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Brad McVetta Makes Another Attempt On Tsugaru

Course courtesy of Masayuki Moriya of Ocean-navi between Honshu in the south and Hokkaido in the north across the Tsugaru Channel

Four years ago almost to the day, Brad McVetta of New York attempted his first crossing of the Tsugaru Channel in northern Japan.

After 17 hours 13 minute across and against the Tsugaru Current, he ultimately gave it his all, but did not finish.

While the conditions were acceptable and the water temperature was comfortable at the start of his second attempt today in Japan, the elements in the Tsugaru Channel proved too much again for McVetta.

As he approached his goal of Hokkaido, he had to fight against the strong Tsugaru Current that pushed him away from his goal. He also faced water temperatures that steadily dropped from 19.5°C at the start near Honshu to 12°C at the end near Hokkaido.

The Tsugaru Current whips around the southern edges of Hokkaido around Shirakami Misaki and kicks up some large, unpredictable eddies that draw up the colder water from the depths to the surface. It is a double punch that has taken down more than one experienced channel swimmer.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Beth French's Adventure Is Not Over, Merely Changed

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Sandwiched between two escort boats in what that was tough, but not impossible, Beth French voluntarily exited after swimming for 10 hours 33 minute in Japan's Tsugaru Channel.

The British channel swimmer explains why she felt comfortable and transformational in gradually making to her decision.

"I reached my destination before I reached the end of the line. I elected which life lesson I learned on this swim.

Normally they get scoured out of the depth of your soul on channel crossings. The lessons I have learned since the English Channel in 2012 are indelibly marked on my body in tattoos so I never overlook them again. I cherish each one and employ them daily. I am my own hero. I am capable and brave. I am blessed. I can go beyond what is considered possible for me and for most.

I am also the mother of an autistic son. When I started this project in 2012, Dyl was 3 years old. Now, he is 8 and I am having to homeschool him for the last two years. Juggling life as a self-employed lone parent is tough

Her son Dyl travels with French en route her Oceans Seven swims from New Zealand to Molokai to Japan. French has had to fund five people, including Dyl, on her journey to attempt a Calendar Year Oceans Seven challenge.

"My previous single channels he has been so proud, but the stress of so many so close together has sent his anxiety through the roof, which then damages his self esteem. I am a lone parent with little back up, so I so aware of my actions and how they affect him.

Swimming offered me balance and adventure which I craved. But since the Molokai Channel, I have had a different perspective. I have not been able to sleep solo for eight months. It is getting worse. Dyl's anxiety peaks around the swims. He had been getting more violent and tempestuous. We both love the travel that it has allowed us. We love adventure.

But the fallout for Dyl is that he is feeling awful about himself as he is not able to control his stress levels and gts terrified about hurting people because of it.

I hope he learns it is OK to know when to back down. I started channel swimming for him, and I ended this project for him

French made a significant decision in the latter half of her Tsugaru Channel crossing.

"The lesson that I chose today is to let go. I knew I can be driven. I am tenacious and I absolutely believe that I could achieve the Oceans Seven in a year. But the cost to my son is too great."

French made her decision within 5 hours of her start, but she carried on for another five and a half hours. "I swam on for over five hours after I wanted to end it. I have never wanted to get out before. I believe it is the right thing to do for my family. My perspective is that this adventure - something that has no defined outcome - has taught me so much. I do not need to prove anything.

There is an incredible community of people who are willing to invest in your dreams. I hope I continue to inspire others not just to challenge themselves, but that it is also OK to not get where you thought you were going.

I found grace in the water today. It was always a decision that I would make in the water. I want to regain the joy and spontaneity that open water swimming gives. I ended up swimming for everyone else, feeling bad for myself and my son. The adventure is not over; it has merely changed

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Ion Lazarenco Tiron Goes Six For Six

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Ion Lazarenco Tiron completed his sixth Oceans Seven swim with a relatively straight Tsugaru Channel crossing from Hokkaido to Honshu.

In addition to an 8-day 235 km stage swim Moldova and an Ice Mile in his adopted Ireland in 3.3ºC (37.9ºF) water, he has completed crossings of the Strait of Gibraltar (2014 in 4 hours 41 minutes), the English Channel (2014 in 13 hours 34 minutes), the North Channel (2015 in 16 hours 23 minutes in 11-12ºC water), the Catalina Channel (2016 in 12 hours 1 minute), the Molokai Channel (2016 in 18 hours 11 minutes), and the Tsugaru Channel in 11 hours 20 minutes today.

With his wife and Captain Mizushima on his escort boat, his crossing was impressively straightforward [see below]. Plotting of his course across the Tsugaru Current and 19.5 km channel in northern Japan is courtesy of Masuyuki Moriya of Ocean Navi:

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association