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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Huffaker Of Big Blue To Swim Across The Big Blue

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

At the age of 75, Harry Huffaker is going to attempt to become the oldest person to cross a major channel in the world.

Huffaker will attempt a 26-mile (42 km) crossing of the Molokai Channel from Molokai Island to Oahu sometime between September 14th and 18th.

"That would provide one week post Waikiki Roughwater Swim [on Oahu] to get reacquainted with the ocean and taste of salt water in addition to a decent tide calendar," explains the Idaho resident. "If a user-friendly sea state isn’t happening during my window, the swim would not be able to take place for me. Swimming in choppy, confused sea state would be too much of a handicap at this stage."

Swim or no swim, Huffaker was pleased with the outcome of his training. "The good news is that I never imagined that I would be able to wear a size 32 Speedo again. The bad news is that I have lost more weight than anticipated or hoped for and body fat now measures less than 6%. That does not bode well for the insulation factor given 25°F difference between body temperature and water temperatures in the channel."

Huffaker, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honouree, just received gifts from the University of Michigan, his alma mater, courtesy of the coaching staff.

Photo shows 50-year-old Huffaker who has crossed the 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel in 1970 on his second attempt, the Molokai Channel from Molokai to Oahu in 1967 and from Oahu to Molokai in 1972 after a failed 20-hour attempt. He has thrice swum the Maui Channel and the 9.3-mile Kalohi Channel (Molokai to Lanai) and the 8.5-mile Palilolo Channel (from Maui to Molokai) in 1989.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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