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Lake Baikal Relay Eco-Crossing

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The unprecedented 50 km relay course of Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia by Oleg Dokuchaev, Maria Chizhova, Pavel Komarov, Eugene Zozulya, and Andrey Bugay on 4-5 August 2020 in 16 hours 11 minutes
Baikal Lake in Russia

The Lake Baikal Relay Eco-Crossing is a 50 km relay by Russian swimmers Oleg Dokuchaev, Maria Chizhova, Pavel Komarov, Eugene Zozulya, and Andrey Bugay across Lake Baikal in Siberia on 4-5 August 2020 in 16 hours 11 minutes.

Lake Baikal[edit]

Lake Baikal or Baikal Lake (Russian: о́зеро Байка́л, Mongolian: Байгал нуур) is the world's oldest lake at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 meters. It is called the "Pearl of Siberia" and is located in the southern Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast.

At 1,642 meters (5,387 ft), Lake Baikal is the deepest and among the clearest of all lakes in the world. Similarly to Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape with a surface area of 31,722 km2/12,248 square miles, less than that of Lake Superior or Lake Victoria. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is also home to Buryat tribes who reside on the eastern side of Lake Baikal, rearing goats, camels, cattle and sheep, where the regional temperatures vary from a minimum of −19°C (−2°F) in winter to maximum of 14°C (57°F) in summer. Lake Baikal is nicknamed "Older sister of Sister Lakes (Lake Khövsgöl and Lake Baikal)".

Video[edit]

Lake Baikal Relay Crossing[edit]


Oleg Dokuchaev, Maria Chizhova, Pavel Komarov, Eugene Zozulya, and Andrey Bugay on 4-5 August 2020 started from 2:25 pm on 4 August and ended on 5 August at 6:36 am as the water temperature dropped from 14°C to 5°C from Vydrino, Buryatia to Listvyanka, Irkutsk in the southern part of the Eastern Siberia.

2020 WOWSA Awards[edit]

Kosatka DV by Oleg Dokuchaev of Russia was nominated for the 2020 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year category with the following nomination: Vladivostok is site of Kosatka DV, a winter swimming club and center with hundreds of passionate swimmers and year-round competitions led by President, Founder and Head Coach Oleg Dokuchaev. But the club's reach and renowned reputation goes far beyond the port city in eastern Russia. The club organizes and trains people for extreme swims, eco-marathon swimming relays, and other open water swimming adventures with a goal of marine conservationism and environmentalism in Far East Russia. Based on his experience organizing the 86 km Bering Strait Swim, dubbed The Most Dangerous Crossing In The World, Dokuchaev organizes four other extreme swimming adventures while balancing the highest safety protocols with difficult challenges. For organizing the 75 km Amur River Swim for an 8-swimmer relay ending in Khabarovsk and the 160 km Peter the Great Gulf Swim for a 16-swimmer relay around the Empress Eugénie Archipelago in the sea around Vladivostok, for staging the 50 km Lake Baikal Crossing by a 5-swimmer relay across the famous Lake Baikal and the 75 km Russky Round Swim around the Russky Island by 14 swimmers south of Vladivostok, and for training, leading and motivating cold water swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to challenge themselves in distant extreme eco-swimming relays in unspoilt waterways, the Kosatka DV by Oleg Dokuchaev is a worthy nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

The Lake Baikal Relay Eco-Crossing was nominated for the 2020 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year category with the following nomination: Russian swimmers Oleg Dokuchaev, Maria Chizhova, Pavel Komarov, Eugene Zozulya from Vladivostok and Andrey Bugay from Irkutsk crossed Lake Baikal that holds 20% of all drinking water on Planet Earth. Situated in the southern part of the Eastern Siberia, the quintet of Russian swimmers completed the 50 km course in 16 hours 11 minutes from Vydrino, Buryatia in 30-minute rotations as the water temperature fell from 14°C to 12°C and the air temperature dropped to 5°C and the winds picked up. Conditions continued to get worse until the water sunk to 5°C over the final 2 km, ending in Listvyanka, Irkutsk where the coldest water from the depths flow out to the Angara River. For dealing with increasingly colder and tougher over the entire 15-hour ordeal, for maintaining a high level of mutual support and focus while repeatedly handling the back-to-back immersions in cold water, and for completing an unprecedented relay crossing of the deepest lake in the world, the unprecedented Lake Baikal Relay Eco-Crossing by Oleg Dokuchaev, Maria Chizhova, Pavel Komarov, Eugene Zozulya, and Andrey Bugay of Russia is a worthy nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.​​

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