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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Friendly Isle Says Aloooooha To Oliver Wilkinson
Fortunately, there would be no bone-crushing swim for Wilkinson on this day...although it may have appeared to start that way and could have ended up similarly.
Early this morning in the dark of night, Wilkinson, Captain Matt Buckman, kayaker Jeff Kozlovich and his team sped towards Laau Point, the traditional starting point for attempts across the Molokai Channel. But in the pitch darkness of the wee hours of the morning, the sound of the bone-crushing waves told the story of the dangers of a start at Laau Point.
The north swells were frightfully huge. For Wilkinson and his crew to get from the escort boat to rough shore at night through the massive ocean swells smashing upon the western coast of Molokai was just too risky and could have ended up in disaster.
There had to be another way.
With magnificent conditions and low winds predicted for later in the day, Wilkinson's team was intent on finding a safe spot to start his Molokai Channel swim. The escort team took some time, but later found a much safer place south of Laau Point. They were able to get him in and out of a protected cove easily enough.
As predicted, the Kona winds were nearly non-existent throughout the morning hours while Wilkinson enjoyed a glorious send-off from The Friendly Isle. To describe his swim as smooth was an understatement. In the afternoon, the winds picked up in order to give Wilkinson a bit more of a challenge in his traverse across the 700m deep channel. While he didn't encounter any "big boys", he was stung a few times as a stark reminder that everything would not be as easy as his morning hours in the royal blue ocean.
Just as the huge Hawaiian surf sent him off from Molokai, so did the large waves greet him upon his arrival on Oahu. "As they approached Sandy Beach [on Oahu], the tide began going down," explained Linda Kaiser, the renowned channel swimmer from Hawaii. "It resulted in a slower swim into the beach, but Oliver exited the water during a big set. He thought it 'was fun'."
Tied for 16th in the Oceans Seven rankings, the world record holder around Manhattan Island started at 3:40 am and finished at 4:44 pm for a 13 hour 4 minutes crossing to become the 26th person in history to traverse the Molokai Channel.
Report courtesy of Linda Kaiser.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
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