Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Emre Erdogan Succeeds Across The Tsugaru Channel


Courtesy of Channel Swim Japan, Tsugaru Channel, Japan.

Emre Erdogan of Turkey completed a fast crossing of the Tsugaru Channel. He swam from Honshu to Hokkaido in northern Japan in 7 hours 36 minutes today.

It was his fourth Oceans Seven channel in his emerging marathon swimming career. Today, even with a shoulder injury, he said, "If there's one thing the sea taught me, it is never to give up."

He swims as he believes. Even with successes across the Strait of Gibraltar, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, and the Tsugaru Channel, his previous two attempts at the Molokai Channel in Hawaii did not end in success.

"In Hawaii, I had my dream dashed because of a shark."

But Tsugaru did not good at the beginning. "When we went to the meeting [with the pilot and crew] before the crossing, there was rain and storming. The weather and the currents were looking very tough, and it was a little scary. Despite all my meditation, I could not get negative thoughts out of my mind."

But his escort crew took him to the start on Honshu. "The crew asked me why I swim. I said, 'I brought the flag of my country. This swim is for the sea and nature. Thanks to this swim, I can send my message to a wide audience. I said my last prayer and jumped into the sea. Now the struggle for me had begun.

I was praying non stop during swimming. I was crying, "Oh God, give me strength to my arm, get me out of this water safely. At the end of the first 40 minutes, they said that I would break a record if I could continue swimming like this. My dad was trying to motivate me and watch for dangers.

I had finished 10 kilometers after 2 hours. The captain and the observer were very surprised. They had never seen such speed. But the Tsugaru Channel had other plans. I heard my father's voice. It was full of pain. As the waves hit my arms, my energy was sapped.

After 5 hours, we had swum 25 km. I would break the record. During my feeding, my crew said, "You will be on land within 1 hour.' I was so happy. But then everything changed. The war has begun.

I normally swim a kilometer in 13 minutes, but I was only swimming 1 kilometer in a half an hour. Finally, they said that I had 1 kilometer to go, giving me a little relief. But a half an hour later, I realized I had to relax. When I asked how far I had more [to shore], my Dad said, 'A storm is coming, if you don't stop, we'll stay here, hold on.' He was looking at me with worried eyes and praying.

My chest was hurting. I didn't know if it was muscle pain or heart pain. Finally, I touched rock [to finish]."


Copyright @ 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Matthias Kaßner Cruises Across The Tsugaru Channel

Courtesy of Channel Swim Japan, Tsugaru Channel, Japan.

Matthias Kaßner completed a crossing of the Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in northern Japan in 9 hours 45 minutes yesterday.

It was his 5th Oceans Seven channel in a prolific marathon and ice swimming career.

He has the Cook Strait in New Zealand and the Molokai Channel in Hawaii left on his agenda after completing the English Channel, North Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Catalina Channel and Tsugaru Channel as well as a number of other marathon swims from Europe (including the Beltquerung and Bodenseequerung) to America (Manhattan Island Marathon Swim).

One of his supporters, Oliver Halder, is celebrating his successful crossing with some unique T-shirts with a Japanese theme.  The shirts are sold on the Extremschwimmer online shop at www.shop.extremschwimmer.de.

Copyright @ 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, August 19, 2019

Dina Levačic Emerges With A Fast Crossing Of The Tsugaru Channel

Courtesy of Channel Swim Japan, Tsugaru Channel, Honshu - Hokkaido, Japan.

Dina Levačic, a young Croatian student from Split, completed a fast 19.5 km crossing of the Tsugaru Channel today.

With a 7 hour 13 minute swim from Honshu to Hokkaido in northern Japan, she became the third fastest female swimmer across the Tsugaru Channel in history.

Ocean Navi reported, "She did a very fast time despite facing a very rough sea with strong winds and high waves after 5 km from the start, right to the very end.

But she swam through the difficult conditions with a strong and consistent pace - crossing the fast Tsugaru Current - the entire way
."

In addition to her many professional marathon swims and solo marathon swims around the world, this was Levačic's third Oceans Seven channel after her crossings of the English Channel and Catalina Channel.

Copyright @ 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Marcia Cleveland, Quick Quinquagenarian

Courtesy of Channel Swim Japan, Tsugaru Channel, Honshu - Hokkaido, Japan.

Marcia Cleveland wrote Dover Solo, a widely-read, popular book about her 9 hour 44 minute English Channel crossing in 1994 at the age of 30. Dial forward 25 years and the 54-year-old Cleveland is still swimming channels around the world...and greatly enjoying herself doing it.

Today, she completed a 10 hour 11 minute tough crossing of the 19.5 km Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in northern Japan.

She described the crossing that started at 4:53 am and finished at 6:33 pm, "The last seven hours, I was in a washing machine with 4-5 foot waves sometimes crashing over me. It was a tough swim and I made it. I earned this one today, although I couldn’t have done it without Ted Baumgartner [shown above] in oh so many ways."

Her Japanese hosts from Ocean Navi were happy for her success. "Marcia visited Ocean Navi in Shinagawa [Tokyo]; many know her as a dynamic swimmer. We told her during the swim another swimmer [from Croatia] completed a magnificent swim. Marcia said she was very happy for Dina and [as a result after receiving the news], she became even more powerful. She is not only a great swimmer, but also is a lovely person."

Copyright @ 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Team Denise Tackles Tsugaru

Courtesy of Channel Swim Japan, Tsugaru Channel, Japan.

Team Denise from Ireland completed a 19.5 km crossing from Honshu to Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Channel in northern Japan.

The Irish team of Peter, Denise, Saskia, Sandra, James and Enda is one of the few non-Japanese relay teams to have made the Oceans Seven crossing, finishing in 16 hours 37 minutes 45 seconds on August 6th in the 22℃ water.

Copyright © 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, August 5, 2019

Nathalie Pohl Survives, Swims And Smiles Across Tsugaru Channel

Courtesy of Masahide Sano of Channel Swim Japan, Tsugaru Channel, Japan.

Nathalie Pohl made it safely to the start of her Tsugaru Channel crossing this morning at 2:16 am on the Kodomari peninsula in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan.

10 hours 9 minutes 40 seconds later, she made it safely and successfully across the channel to the shores of Hokkaido.

Her smile and relief were palpable.

Guided by Adam Walker and coach Joshua Neloh, Pohl had one of the most unusual and unfortunate experiences among channel swimmers in recent times.

Last August en route to her start on the Kodomari peninsula, her escort boat captain - who had escorted several dozens of swimmers and relays across the Tsugaru Channel and fishes in its waters as his primary job - crashed his boat into unseen rocks near the shore.

Walker wrote, "I can’t believe I’m writing this...the swim didn’t go ahead for Nathalie as the boat crashed into rocks on route to the start. Everyone is ok, if not slightly bruised and in shock. Nathalie banged her side and has rib pain so we need to check her out. The pilot was unconscious for a few minutes, but fortunately I was able to wake him up. He has gone off in an ambulance, he hurt his collarbone and has gone to hospital. The boat had to be towed.

Of course, the swim is cancelled and of course very disappointed for Nathalie
."

Walker later updated his report from the accident, "Nathalie ribs were x-rayed in Japan and shows a bad bruised, but no break. The pilot has a broken collarbone and will undergo surgery in a few days."

Steven Munatones recalled speaking with Pohl's father, "Nathalie, Coach Neloh and her father were really - and rightly - very shook up and upset. It was quite an unexpected - and unheard of - accident. But they started planning for her return and a successful crossing right away."

A year later, Pohl has every right to be proud of her return and her 10 hour 9 minute crossing of the Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido.

Copyright © 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association and Tsugaru Channel Swimming Association

Kieron Palframan Successfully Crosses Tsugaru Channel

Courtesy of Masahide Sano of Channel Swim Japan, Tsugaru Channel, Japan.

South African extreme swimmer Kieron Palframan completed a very fast 8 hour 41 minute 5 second crossing of the Tsugaru Channel in northern Japan. He started in Kodomari on Honshu and finished on the shores of Hokkaido.

Copyright © 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association