NZ team take on Turkey's Dardenelles Strait

The original article by Charlotte Tonkin is posted (with picture) on 3news since Tue, 31 Aug 2010 6:50p.m.

A New Zealand team has competed in the annual swim across the Dardenelles in Turkey as part of a build-up to the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

For centuries, the Dardenelles Strait has proved irresistible, even in brutal conditions.

In World War I it was one of the most strategically important waterways and was heavily contested – it was what the allies were desperate to control.

Now, 95 years on, Wellington’s Chantelle Cowlrick’s strategy paid off. She won the women’s event in just under 45 minutes.

At least 470 swimmers entered the 4.5 km swim from Europe to Asia. The event began in 1986.

For the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, the strait will again play an important role.

In 2015, the strait will be awash with 100 surf boats, racing along the Dardenelles to the beaches of Gallipoli in an event called The Gallipoli 100.

New Zealand, Australian and Turkish crews have already experienced what rowing around the Gallipoli Peninsula feels like.

In Turkey, victory day coincides with the race, which this year attracted swimmers from 16 countries.

But for most, victory came from just finishing.