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Meda McKenzie

From Openwaterpedia
Foveaux Strait in New Zealand

Meda-Therese McKenzie, MBE is a 59-year-old open water swimmer from New Zealand who completed two Oceans Seven channels.

Open Water Swimming Career Highlights[edit]

  • On 3 February 1978, she completed a 23 km crossing of the Cook Strait from North Island to South Island in New Zealand in 12 hours 7 minutes at the age of 15.
  • On 17 February 1978, she completed a 23 km crossing of the Cook Strait from South Island to North Island in New Zealand in 11 hours 23 minutes at the age of 15.
  • On 30 July 1978, she crossed the English Channel from England to France in 13 hours 9 minutes.
  • She completed a 21 km swim from the Poor Knights Islands to Matapouri Beach in New Zealand in 1978.
  • On 20 March 1979, she crossed the 28.6 km Foveaux Strait from Bluff on South Island to Stewart Island in New Zealand in 14 hours 0 minutes as the second successful swim at the age of 16. She continues to be the youngest person
  • On 26 March 1984, she completed a 23 km crossing of the Cook Strait from North Island to South Island in 11 hours 27 minutes at the age of 21.
  • On 26 March 1984, she completed a two-way crossing of the Cook Strait from North Island to South Island to North Island in New Zealand in 23 hours 6 minutes at the age of 21 (11 hours 27 minutes + 11 hours 39 minutes).
  • On 3 March 1985, she completed a 34 km circumnavigation swim around Rarotonga Island in 17 hours 27 minutes.
  • She swam across the Bristol Channel in the UK at the age of 16 on 17 August 1978.
  • She swam across Lake Erie from Canada to the USA on 1 September 1985.
  • She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Zealand Ultra Marathon Swim Awards in 2021.

Foveaux Strait[edit]

Foveaux Strait (Māori: Te Ara a Kiwa) separates Stewart Island/Rakiura, New Zealand's third largest island, from the South Island. The strait is a rough and often treacherous stretch of water. The strait is about 130 km long (from Ruapuke Island to Little Solander Island), and it widens (from 14 km at Ruapuke Island to 50 km at Te Waewae Bay) and deepens (from 20 to 120 m) from east to west.

Channel Swimming[edit]

Successful swimmers include:

1. John van Leeuwen, 7 February 1963 (Bluff to Stewart Island in 13:40)
2. Meda McKenzie, 20 March 1979 (Bluff to Stewart Island in 14:00)
3. Belinda Shields, 24 March 1984 (Bluff to Stewart Island in 9:53)
4. Michael Quinlivan, 13 February 1985 (Bluff to Stewart Island in 9:41)
5. Sandra Blewett, 11 February 1988 (Bluff to Stewart Island in 12:50)
6. Todd Utteridge, 15 February 1989 (Bluff to Stewart Island in 8:40)
7. Wayne Evans, 11 February 2013 (Stewart Island to Bluff in 9:20 with a wetsuit)

External links[edit]