Wednesday, March 11, 2009

From Russia With Love

Among the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims, the Russian Swimming Federation National Championship (#78) is held along the Black Sea coast and is the selection race for the Russian National Open Water Team which has been the most dominant team at the world-class level for nearly 10 years with Larisa Ilchenko as its best-known swimmers.

But, Russian open water swimming goes way beyond elite swimmers.

In the great Siberian river Ob in Novosibirsk, the annual Open Water Cup of Siberia is held in July. The Open Water Cup of Siberia offers races of 3K, 5K and 10K in a man-made reservoir made by the dam on River Ob south of Novosibirsk.

There is a 4K swim across the river Ob in the City of Novosibirsk. More than 450 swimmers, mostly from Siberia, took the downstream course in 20°C. Photos are shown here and above.

1.6K, 3K and 5K swims in 12-13°C (53.6-55.4°F) water attract enthusiasts from all over Russia to various cold open water swims like the Cup of Siberia and Far East in Teletskoe Lake. Teletskoe Lake is located in South Siberia in the Republic of Gorny Altai. A video of the race can be seen here.

In addition to the Amber Mile* (#79 in the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims) is in the European part of Russia, the Istra Mile offers two races: a nautical mile (one loop) and a 5K (three loops) where everyone starts together. Istra is a man-made reservoir with a water temperature between 18-20°C (64.4-68°F). Photos of the race can be seen here.

There is a 24K solo and relay swim from St. Petersburg to Kotlin Island in the Baltic Sea to Kronstadt, a seaport town, on the last weekend of July. During the first 3K, swimmers are helped by flow of the Neva River, but prevailing strong wind from the west always generates rough conditions. The water temperature during the end of July is between 17-19°C (62.6-66.2°F).

* Photos of the Amber Mile, organized by the Russian Federation of Masters Swimming, in Kaliningrad between Poland and Lithuania are on left and here.

No comments: