On 13 July 2014 a unique group 5-kilometer swim took place through the Kerch Strait. The Mastertel Telecommunications Company sponsored this sporting event and supported the swimmers.
The swim started at the Front Chushkinsky lighthouse and finished at the old Yenikale fortress, located in the city of Kerch. The swimmers symbolically recognised the joining of the Republic of Crimea with the mainland of the Russian Federation.
The Kerch Strait belongs to the Sea of Azov and connects it to the Black Sea. The western shore of the Kerch Strait is the Crimean peninsula. To the east, the Taman Peninsula. The width of the Kerch Strait varies from 4.5 to 15 km. It's maximum depth is 18 meters. The most important port is the city of Kerch.
All participants had been preparing for a long time. Behind were the months of training, 'test pilot' swim distances in pools and open water. As a result, athletes coped with the test and showed excellent results. As with every major victory, it is not an easy decision to defy the elements and prove that all this can be achieved through persistent training.
One of the activities of Mastertel is to support social projects, the promotion of social, cultural, spiritual and moral development of young people and to promote a healthy lifestyle. Mastertel's support of these athletes in such a difficult and interesting challenge was accepted with great enthusiasm.
"The first mass swim across the Kerch Strait took place and was completed successfully. I obtained invaluable information about the Strait, which will greatly help in the organization of this event next time. There are many ideas and thoughts on how future challenges should look, challenges, which are able to compete with all the known heats through the Bosporus Strait. And, most importantly, we have a whole year to organize this sports festival for several hundred swimmers,"- said Sergey Pichugin, swimming coach and Kerch Strait swim organizer.
Everyone who has to swim was sure that the conquest of the Kerch Strait would become more popular than intercontinental swims through the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Competitions will gain popularity and become regular and the number of those wishing to conquer the waters of the Kerch Strait will continue to grow annually.