The Kotlin Race or the Swimming Marathon St. Petersburg - Kronstadt is a 25 km marathon swim held in Neva Bay in St. Petersburg, Russia that is part of the Global Swim Series and the Grand Swim Series of Russia. It is one of the World's Top 100 Open Water Swimming Relays.
The Gulf of Finland is located in the Eastern part of the Baltic Sea along the coast of Russia, Estonia, and Finland. St. Petersburg stands on the Gulf’s shore. Other major seaports around the gulf are Vyborg and Kronstadt in Russia, Tallinn in Estonia, Helsinki, Turku and Kotka in Finland.
In the IX century the eastern coast of the gulf belonged to Veliky Novgorod and was called Vodskaya Pyatina. The Gulf was named “Gulf of Finland” (Finnish - Suomenlaht) after people inhabiting the territory of the northern coast and this name is known since the 30s of the XVIII century. In the years 1737-1793 it was also called “the Gulf of Kronstadt”.
As a result of the Northern War of 1700-1721 the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland became part of the Russian Empire. An active construction of defensive structures in the gulf area started. Forts and batteries were set up which resulted in composing the Kronstadt city on the island of Kotlin in 1705. There is a lot of information about affluent military past and numerous battles in the Gulf of Finland between fleets of different countries.
The Swim Race St. Petersburg - Kronstadt requires each participant to have an insurance policy that includes the full list of accidents related to the athlete's health and covers damage or loss of the swimmer’s equipment during the participation in the race. This policy must be paid by the participating athlete and must include 3-5 days before and after the appointed date.
The swimmer and his / her trainer must speak Russian or English. The swimmer and the maintenance personnel must have their passports on board.
The race begins from the pier in St. Petersburg after sunrise and ends before sunset when the swimmer reaches the natural point on the coast of Kronstadt (Kotlin island) or, if not possible to touch the shore due to the weather conditions, the touch of the maintenance boat can be done, to consider the distance to be finished.
When the race is carried out in a group (3 people maximum), swimmers must have the same speed characteristics. The maximum distance between swimmers can be 50 m. In case of exceeding this distance the faster swimmers must wait for slower ones. If for any reason (such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, etc.) one or more swimmers lag behind for several times then the organizers have to terminate the race.
The maximum number of swimmers is 4. The shift in the race takes place every 30 minutes, and each swimmer will do at least one shift.
Because of rapid streams and winds prevailing in the Gulf, it is necessary to have swimming speed not lower than 3 km / hour. At a lower speed it will be difficult enough to overcome this distance by sunset.
2019 Grand Swim Series Events
1. Swim 24 Swimming Marathon, a 24-hour swim and a 6-hour night swim in a competition pool in St. Petersburg, Russia held in April
2. Kotlin Race Swimming Marathon a 25 km open water swim in Neva Bay in St. Petersburg, Russia held in May
3. Lake Balhash Race, a 32.2 km open water swim across Lake Balkhash in eastern Kazakhstan held between May and September
4. Issyk-Kul Race, a 45 km open water swim across Issyk-Kul in the deep basin of the northeast Kyrgyzstan held between May and September
5. 13 Bridges, a 27 km open water swim along the Neva River through St. Petersburg, Russia to the Gulf of Finland held between June and August
6. Neva Swimming Marathon, a 77 km open water swim in the Neva River to the Gulf of Finland held between June and September
7. Baikal Race, a 35 km open water swim across Lake Baikal in Russia held between July and August
8. Valaam Swimming Marathon, a 20 km open water swim from the island of Putsaari to the island of Valaam in Ladoga Lake, Russia held between July and August