ON July 25 Dingle woman Nuala Moore and Donegal's Anne Marie Ward will attempt to surmount an intense and formidable challenge when they embark on a swim in the icy waters of the Bering Strait from Russia to their destination, the USA.
The prestigious swim falls under the jurisdiction of the Co-Ordination Council of All-Russia People's Front (Vladimir Putin) and the Command of the Eastern Military District.
The event will commemorate the first 'Freedom Flight' between Russia and the United States in 1988, marking the end of the Cold War on its 25th anniversary.
The 2013 expedition is due to depart on July 25 and a team of approximately 40 international swimmers from 14 countries will relay across the Bering Strait, leaving from Chutokta in Russia and arriving to Port Prince of Wales in Alaska.
The plan is to swim 20 minutes and rest for 8-10 hours in one of the most volatile waters in the world, which has been well documented in the Deadliest Catch TV series. The swimmers will continue this immersion pattern until they reach the USA.
"It's an honour to be invited to be part of this unit – there is nowhere to hide in this test of swimming," said Nuala, who won gold by swimming inside the Arctic Circle in Siberia earlier this year and who has also swam around the coast of Ireland..
"As waters go, the Bering Strait is one of the most volatile bodies of water in the world and the water temperature will be between 4-5°C on the Russian side rising to 7-8°C on the US side," she told The Kerryman.
"The main swimming challenges will lie in the recovery between swims, factoring in the other side-effects of being in such a big body of water, working with teams we are new to, and the presence of marine life such as polar bears, walrus, whales and jellyfish."
"We will have to get used to transfer from ribs to ship without losing too much body heat," she added.
"Our experience in the Round Ireland Swim - 830miles over 56 days, the longest marathon staged relay in the world - will benefit both Anne Marie and I mentally."