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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cypress To Israel Attempts To Out-do Night Train Swimmers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The bar raised by the Night Train Swimmers along the California coast in 2013 will be challenged once again by the 6-man Cyprus Israel Relay Swim in the Mediterranean Sea next month.

The six men from Israel will attempt to set a record for the longest non-stop 6-person open water relay record on September 27th after their aborted relay last October. They will try to extend the current Night Train Swimmers' relay record from 367 km (228 miles) to 400 km (248.5 miles).

Udi Erell, Doron Amosi, Ben Enosh, Ori Sela, Oded Rahav, and Luc Chetboun, along with crew members Erez Amir, Nimrod Or, and Uri Brown, are going to give it their best shot.

"We are definitely planning on making the attempt again," said Erell soon after they had to abort their attempt in October last year. This year, however, the group plans to increase their planned distance of their swim to a total of 400 km (248.5 miles), stretching from Cypress to Israel.

Officially, the course will start on September 27th at 34°45'12"N 32°24'36"E from Limassol harbor in Cyprus with a pre-determined turn in the Mediterranean sea at 31°58'21"N 34°40'32"E, and an intended finish on the shoreline of Israel at 32°09'57"N 34°47'31"E.

Udi Erell explained about the first Cyprus Israel Relay Swim, last year's audacious 380 km (248.5-mile) attempt to swim from Cyprus to Israel. "We had to abort the swim about two-thirds of the way from Cyprus to Israel, due to adverse sea conditions. The decision was a tough one to make, since all of the swimmers were still in great shape even after more than 60 hours, including one shift against 1.5 - 2 meter waves. But it became dangerous for boarding the boat at the end of each shift, not to mention the need to swim further away from the yawing boat, with the risk of it losing sight of the swimmer in the darkness.

We know we made the right decision, since the sea kept building up to over 3 meters and 25-knot cross winds

Because passage through international waters is involved, the team are obligated to make formal departure and entrance at official gateways at each end of their relay. Because the team is not allowed to start or finish on a beach, they will start outside Limasol Marina in Cyprus and proceed after a turn in the Mediterranean to a point opposite the northern coast of Israel. Once they get to the shore they will still face security issues. They will swim along the Israeli coast down to Tel-Aviv. They will then double back to enter at Herzliya Marina, which is the only official port of entry in the center of Israel.

The Night Train Swimmers set the record for the longest non-stop ocean relay swim in history when they completed a 228-mile (367 km) swim down the California coast from north of Santa Barbara to the San Diego Yacht Club in 100 hours 28 minutes in August 2013. Under the direction of captain Vito Bialla along with navigator Hal McCormick and Observer Patrick Horn, its relay members included Phil Cutti, David Holscher, Zach Jirkovsky, Luane Rowe, Blair Cannon, and Grace van der Byl.

Night Train Swimmers had out swum the Ventura Deep Six relay's former record of 202 miles (325 km). The Ventura Deep Six had in itself out swum the several other relays including the male and female Taupo x 3 relays (78.2 miles or 126 km) in New Zealand in 2009 and the Sport City Mexico's 136 km (84-mile) four-way crossing of the English Channel in 42 hours 11 minutes in 2007 and Sun Rice Australia's four-way English Channel crossing in 43 hours 7 minutes in 1993.

For more information on the Cyprus Israel Relay Swim for Youth at Risk, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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