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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Long List Of Hawaii Channel Swimmers

There are nine main channels between the largest islands in the state of Hawaii. Eight of which have been successfully crossed by solo swimmers with one giant channel remaining and more and more marathon swimmers trying to overcome the large swells, raw tropical beauty, strong currents and abundant marine life at the channels. To date, the successful swimmers in the following channels include the following.

The names of Linda Kaiser, Mike Spalding, Bill Goding, Quinn Carver, Carl Kawauchi, Harry Huffaker, Mike Miller and Chris and Penny Palfrey that seem to frequently pop up:

1. The Kaiwi Channel, 26 miles (42K) from Molokai to Oahu:
1961: Keo Nakama
1967: Harry Huffaker
1972: Harry Huffaker (Oahu to Molokai)
1974: Johnathan Ezer
1979: Mike Miller, Ian Emberson
1994: Robin Isayama (first female)
2006: Forrest Nelson (Molokai to Oahu), Forrest Nelson (Oahu to Molokai), Bill Goding
2007: Mike Spalding, Kelly Gleason, Linda Kaiser
2009: Mackenzie Miller (shown above)
2010: Chris Palfrey
2011: Penny Palfrey

2. The Kalohi Channel, 9.3 miles (14.9) from Lanai to Molokai:
1978: Bob Justman, Jody Pollack
1989: Harry Huffaker (Molokai to Lanai), Carl Kawauchi (Molokai to Lanai), Terry Chodosh, Ulrich Klinke
1991: Linda Kaiser (Molokai to Lanai), Janice Vierra
1995: Carl Kawauchi, Bill Costello, Alton Motobu
2007: Carl Kawauchi (Molokai to Lanai), Mike Spalding (Molokai to Lanai), Laurie Foster, Kelly Gleason, Tom Burke

3. The Alalakeiki Channel, 7 miles (11.2K) from Kahoolawe to Maui:
1977: Bill Lawrence, Solomon Fernandez
1992: Carl Kawauchi, Ulrich Klinke, Alton Motobu
2001: Linda Kaiser, Laurie Foster, Mike Spalding
2006: Carl Kawauchi, Alton Motobu
2011: Penny Palfrey, Chris Palfrey

4. The Palilolo Channel, 8.5 miles (13.6K) from Maui to Molokai:
1973: Jim Caldwell
1989: Linda Kaiser, Mike Spalding, Janice Vierra
1989: James Jonsson
1990: Harry Huffaker
1993: Carl Kawauchi (Molokai to Maui), Dennis Blake, Vernon Knight, Joe Nagi
1998: Carl Kawauchi, Bill Costello, Alton Motobu
2004: Ginny Walsh
2005: Jim Sorensen
2006: Billy Brown, Karen Finnerty, Joe Glenn
2008: Bill Goding, Quinn Carver
2009: Carl Kawauchi, Chris Palfrey

5. The Alenuihaha Channel, 30 miles (48.2K) from Hawaii to Maui:
1970: Harry Huffaker
2009: Penny Palfrey (first female), Linda Kaiser
2011: Mike Spalding

6. The Kaulakahi Channel, 17 miles from Kauai to Niihau:
2003: Linda Kaiser, Laurie Foster, Mike Spalding, Tom Robinson
2010: Quinn Carver, Bill Goding, Brian Denaro and Jen Schumacher

7. The Kealaikahiki Channel, 17 miles (27.3K) from Kahoolawe to Lanai:
2005: Linda Kaiser, Laurie Foster, Mike Spalding
2009: Quinn Carver, Bill Goding

8. The wildly popular Auau Channel, 8.8 miles from Lanai to Maui:
1970: Jim Caldwell
1977: Bob Luce, Bob Justman, Judy Collins, Doug Rice (Lanai to Maui), Steve Bobko, Gary Niemeyer, Richard Merritt, Bill Goding, Jim Roumasset, Archie Hapai.
1983: Jim Cole, Marc Feizner, Mike Spalding, Jim Krueger, Carol Lee.
1984: Steve Bobko, Ian Emberson, Rick Heltzel, Mike Miller, Doug Rice.
1987: Harry Huffaker, Carl Kawauchi, Ulrich Klinke, Terry Chodoshi, Bruce Sloan, Chris Cox, Ken Frank, Vernon Knight, Jim Krueger, Tim McNulty, Steve Rudolph, Peter Schegel, Diane Stowell.
1988: Sarah Burch, Mike Sullivan, Cliff Pollard, Jeff Conner, Amy Williams, Bill Tucker, Elizabeth Kent.
1989: Janice Vierra, Linda Kaiser, Gary Morita, Tony Rivera, Peter Kang, Alton Motobu, Keith Arakaki, Alfie Calpito, Ham Homan, Steve Watkins, Mari Okazaki, Tina Niell, Charlie Hansen, Gary Gibo, Bruce Jamieson, Harry Huffaker.
1990: Rick Heltzel, Mike Miller.
1991: Katie Anderson, Langley Frisell, Chad Harrison, Leif Johnson.
1993: Robin Isayama, Tom Billings.
1995: Chana Motobu.
1996: Mike Coyle, Jeff Hawk.
1997: John Dunbar, Cheryl Loomis.
1999: Jim Mellon, John Derr, Bruce Wetta.
2000: Anne Cleveland, Debbie Collins, Shane Collins, Ken Harmom, Dave Matthews.
2001: Bill Goding, Dan Veatch, Dave Matthews, Patrick Mcmillan, Deaann Joslin, Anne Cleveland, Richard LeBolt, Laura Colette.
2002: James Sorenson, Adrienne Mason, Bill Goding, Dave Matthews, Mason Bailey, Craig Taylor, Emily Evans, Becky Jackman, Laura Colette, Christiana Tangora, Mike Miller, Malcolm Cooper.
2003: Bill Goding, Paul Lundgren, Bob Childs, Douglas Bosley, Kevin Smith, Kak Cook, Kiko Aumond, Shane Collins, John Farrington, Rick Avila, Carol Sing, Debbie Collins, Laura Colette, Carl Kawauchi (Maui to Lanai), Alton Motobu, Bill Costello, John Nielsen, Jim Emmons, Billy Brown.
2004: Bill Goding, Alan Bell, Abel Tong, Bruckner Chase, Bill Dick, Graham Johnston, David Harrison, Bernd Straehie, Deann Joslin, Aaron Schmaltz, Paulo de Azevedo, Mike Miller, Jessa Baker, Elise Baker, Mackenzie Miller, Mark Baker.
2005: Marcos Diaz (Lanai To Maui), Bill Goding, Alan Bell, Michelle Deasy, Brad Horner, Kevin Polansky, Shery Kitrell, Shane Collins, Debbie Collins, Amer Rhett, Chad Schneider, Steve Royce, Alice Wong, Steve Diforte, Elise Baker, Kaylen Baker, Aaron Schmaltz, Sean Schmaltz, Jorge Gago, Michelle Vawer, Rachel Randall, Terry Richmond, Mark Baker, Tommy Randall, Billy Brown (Maui to Lanai), Joe Glenn.
2006: Todd Robinson, Bill Goding, Forrest Nelson, Matt Smart, Alex Knibbs, Chis Day, Rance Boren, Dea Ann Joslin, Michelle Deasy, Laura Jenkins, Andrew Davis, Ian Murray, Donielle Chitterden, Kawikanoron Cook, Jennifer Locke, Vladimir Dyatchin, Dana Atkins.
2007: Todd Robinson, Robert Breitel, Bill Goding, Quinn Carver, Lisa Hazen, Chloe McCardel, Peter Worland, Gregg Shields, Teague Soderman, Kevin Smith, Gabriel Mecs, Michelle Santilhano.
2008: Peter Attia (double crossing), Elise Baker, Mark Baker, Carey Colbert, Katie Dalgamouni, Patrick Haluptzok, Colin Hortman, Erin Kirley, MacKenzie Miller, Nick Pederson, Rachel Randall, Chance Usrey, Garrett Usrey, Bill Goding, Alan Voisard, Sam Worden, Moby Coquillard, Steve Lowe, Dea Ann Joslin, James Barkman, Doug Pritchard, David Rich, Pam Dickson, Mark Cibula, Becca Mann (age 10), Steve Green.
2009: Todd Robinson, Peter Worland, Bill Goding, Jeff Cleveland, Laurin Weisenthal, James Paisley, Hudson Slay, Scott Berek, Barbara Held, Greg Kearney, Matt Smart, Alastair Hulbert, Bob Lowney, James Goins, John Farrington, John Derr, Tom Heckler, Samantha McIntosh, Chris Palfrey, Penny Palfrey.
2010: Elizabeth Schlicher, Bill Goding, Steve Lowe, Elizabeth Wood, John Becker, Dave Matthews, Brad Schindler, Billy Brown, James Barnman, Joanna Cain, Rebecca Neavitt, Barbara Held, Marcella MacDonald, Jennifer Stabrylla, Bret Barasch, John Gomersall, Martin Palfrey, Dave Barra, Terry Laughlin, Willie Miller.

9. The Kaieiewaho (Kauai) Channel, 63 very challenging nautical miles between Oahu and Kauai that was attempted by solo swimmers Jonathan Ezer in the 1970s and by Penny Palfrey in 2010 twice. The relay team of Linda Kaiser and Mike Spalding from Oahu, Billy Brown from Kauai, Michelle Macy from Portland, Oregon and Randy Brown and Joel Swartz from California completed the first crossing in 2010 of the Kaieiewaho Channel from Oahu to Kauai.

If there are any updates or corrections to this Hawaii channel swimmer list for the Kaiwi Channel, the Kalohi Channel, the Alalakeiki Channel, the Palilolo Channel, the Alenuihaha Channel, the Kaulakahi Channel, the Kealaikahiki Channel, the wildly popular Auau Channel and the Kaieiewaho (Kauai) Channel, please email the Editor In Chief of the Daily News of Open Water Swimming.

Photo of Mike and Mackenzie Miller.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this swim site, Open Water Source. I read the address as

    I am Judy Collins, the first woman on record to swim from one Hawaiian Island to another. I am on the list. I swam from Lanai to Maui on Mother's Day in May 1977 with Bob Justman and Bob Luce. Our timer and chief shark-spotter was my husband, John Collins. John and I are the Founders of the Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon.

    I know three names that are missing from your Auau Channel list. Janet Lamott was 61 when she was, then, the oldest woman to swim Lanai to Maui. Janet was born in Honolulu in 1935.

    Betsy Jordan and Pete Riddle were the first married couple on record to swim the Auau Channel. We know this because Judy, John, Janet, Betsy and Pete are swim friends from Coronado Masters Association (CMA) in Coronado, California. When we started the Ironman John and I were members of the Waikiki Swim Club.

    How can we get the names of Janet Lamott, Betsy Jordan and Peter Riddle on your Auau Channel list? Thank you, Judy (and John) Collins, Panamá, jnjcollins@yahoo.com


Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.


The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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