Molokai Channel Swimmers

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Mackenzie Miller finishing on Sandy Beach on Oahu after crossing the Channel of Bones
The Moloka'i Channel (also known as the Kaiwi Channel or the Channel of Bones) separates the islands of O'ahu and Molokaʻi in the State of Hawaii. The nearly always rough channel is 42 kilometers (26 miles wide) with an abundance of marine life. Its maximum depth is 2300 feet (701 meters).

There are annual paddle boarding and outrigger canoe paddling contests which traverse this channel and it is considered one of the most difficult swimming channels in the world.

The Molokai Channel has a lot to challenge the marathon swimmer...of all ages.

Molokai Channel Swimmer List

The individuals who has successfully swum across the Molokai Channel include these Molokai Channel Swimmers who are members of the Ka'iwi Channel Swimmers Association:

1. 1961 - Keo Nakama (age 40), finished in Hanauma Bay, 15 hours 30 minutes
2. 1967 - Harry Huffaker (27), 13:35
3. 1972 - Harry Huffaker (32) from Oahu to Molokai, 16:15
4. 1974 - Jonathan Ezer (18), 13:04
5. 1979 - Michael Miller (25), 16:50
6. 1979 - Ian Emberson (28), 16:50
7. 1994 - Robin Isayama (26) first female, 15:21
8. 2006 - Forrest Nelson (40) from Oahu to Molokai, 16:36
9. 2006 - Forrest Nelson (41), 15:55
10. 2006 - Bill Goding (53), 15:55
11. 2007 - Mike Spalding (60), finished in Hanauma Bay, 15:15
12. 2007 - Kelly Gleason (32), finished in Hanauma Bay, 15:15
13. 2007 - Linda Kaiser (57), 15:00
14. 2009 - Mackenzie Miller (19), 14:52
15. 2010 - Chris Palfrey (52), 12:53
16. 2011 - Tina Neill, 17:17
17. 2011 - Forrest Nelson, 17:17
18. 2011 - Darren Miller (28), 12:12
19. 2011 - Michelle Macy, 14:12
20. 2011 - Anna-Carin Nordin, 18:22
21. 2011 - Samantha Simon, 13:41
22. 2011 - Penny Palfrey (49), 12:07
23. 2012 - Stephen Redmond (46), finished at China Walls in Maunalua Bay, 22:30
24. 2012 - Adam Walker, finished near Diamond Head volcano, 17:01
25. 2012 - Michael Ventre, finished at China Walls in Maunalua Bay, 22:30
26. 2012 - Kathleen Wilson, 20:49
27. 2012 - Oliver Wilkinson, 13:05
28. 2012 - Kim Chambers, finished at China Walls in Maunalua Bay, 19:27
29. 2012 - Beth French (35), 24:10
30. 2013 - Leahi Camacho (17), 14:43
31. 2013 - Katie Benoit, 18:00

Note: Bill Pai (William K. (Opelu) Pai) reportedly completed the first Molokai Channel crossing in 1939 when he rowed out to sea off the island of Molokai and swam to Oahu. This is an uncertified crossing by the Hawaiian Channel Swim Association. According to the book Hawai’I Sports: History, Facts and Statistics, the Hawaiian fisherman started his swim at Ilio Point and finished at the Blowhole near Sandy Beach on Oahu in 18 hours and 56 minutes. However, he was rowed 50 yards from shore to start his swim off Molokai. Because the Hawaiian Channel Swim Association rules require that swimmers must complete certified swims from shore to shore, Keo Nakama is recognized as the first official swimmer across the Molokai Channel in 1961.

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