Bogdan Cosmin Zurbagiu - Vidraru Lake

South - North - South

20.4 km (12.7 miles)

7 hours, 32 minutes on 18 July 2020

Observed and documented by Cameliu Costache

First crossing, Vidraru Lake length



Support Personnel

  • Sorin Rudeanu - pilot / kayaker
  • Mihai Badea - tandem swimmer (wetsuit)
  • Cameliu Costache - observer

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: TYR brief swimsuit, 3 pairs goggles, Desitin (sunblock), 1 silicone cap.

Route Definition

  • Body of Water: Vidraru Lake (Arges County)
  • Route Type: two-way
  • Start Location: Vidraru dam boat ramp (45.367263, 24.635509)
  • Turnaround Location: Small beach at north tail of lake, near Arges River mouth. (45.45518, 24.60194)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 20.4 km (12.7 miles) (map)


No known lengthwise crossings of Vidraru Lake.

Photos of Vidraru Lake and Dam

Swim Data

  • Start: 18 July 2020, 11:13 (Europe/Bucharest, UTC+3).
  • Finish: 18 July 2020, 18:45
  • Elapsed: 7 hours, 32 minutes.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (C) 18 20
Air Temp (C) 17 21
Wind (kph) 4 7

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 15 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).

Click to expand map.

Speed Plot

Nutrition: Every 30 minutes: Isotonic, coffee, Powerbar Hydro gels. 1mg+ 1 L-carnitine shot.

Observer Log

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What inspired you to do this swim?

The initial plan for 2020 was to attend the Bosphorus crossing in July and register for the Toroneos crossing. Due to Covid situation, the Bosphorus swim has been postponed to August and hopefully the public health situation will improve by then, while the Toroneos 2020 swim was cancelled.

In this time, a group was preparing for a first swim in Vidraru lake, one way, in Arges county from Romania, in wetsuits.

Vidraru lake is an accumulation lake, created in 1965 by the construction of Vidraru dam. The dam has 300 meters and the maximum water depth is 160 meters.

In 2018 I have attended a half ironman distance triathlon, named Transfier, when I swam 1.9kms in wetsuit and swimming the entire lake got stuck in my head. The name comes from the renowned Transfagarasan road and the iron statue of Prometeu, looking over the dam.

Describe how you planned for the swim.

I discussed with my friend Mihai Badea, 48 yrs old, a former water polo player with a respectable history in the field, now heading the Bucharest Municipal Club swimming team and we decided to swim along, me following the marathon swimming spirit and Mihai in wetsuit.

Mihai and I swam in 2019 at Cluj, in Belis Fantanele lake in a local swimming club event, when I documented my first swim under marathon swimming rules.

In our assistance, Sorin Rudeanu was going to crew on kayak, former basketball player.

As observer we had Cameliu Costache. Cameliu has done competitional swimming and water polo for 20 years between 1974-1994, he has a degree in kineto therapy and coaching degree.

Two days before the event Mihai and I discussed about trying a two way crossing of the lake and it was decided. It would have been the first crossing and the first double crossing under marathon swimming rules.

How did the swim go, generally? Did you face any unanticipated challenges?

We took the start from the dam area, boat ramp of Hotel Posada.

The water was warm, over 20 Celsius degrees at start and our first impression was that the water was cleaner and clearer than expected.

There haven’t been any notable incidents during the swim.

We swam until the tail of the lake (North), where Arges river is flowing.

We exited the water in an area where the environment did not allow us to advance, near a car bridge and a cliff. We spent a short time on the shore and entered the water for our swim back to the dam in the second leg.

In the last part of the swim my wife and our kids were waiting for us on a boat ramp, cheering us. I was feeling hungry, because my food was limited to gels and I needed more.

At the end of the swim, I invited Mihai to be the first exiting the water as a show of respect for his first time-that-long swim and being an ambassador of our sport,

I exited the water in the same place we entered and were greeted by my family, where we took some group photos.

For me this swim was an iconic one, as I had the honor to swim this massive body of water, which I respect since my first visits to the area. A magic place.

Our swim attracted some media attention:


Click to enlarge.



(Translated to English via Google Translate)

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