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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Douglas McConnell Goes On A Long Swim (Again)

Courtesy of Douglas McConnell, A Long Swim, Ka’iwi Channel.

In 2016, A Long Swim will head to Hawaii to swim between the islands of Molokai and Oahu.

The swim itself will be dubbed '27 miles of paradise', assuming we don’t have to fight too many currents and can swim relatively straight and starts on the west end of Molokai and ends on the east end of Oahu. It is really open ocean, and we expect big swells, choppy waves and steady trade winds. We also expect wildlife. The Ka’iwi Channel is also known for whales and dolphins, but also for sharks and jellyfish.

With those challenges, the Ka’iwi Channel has only been swum by 35 solo swimmers.

Our swimming window is between July 24th and 30th, so just like the English Channel, we will be on site and ready to go at any point during that time when the locals will tell us the conditions are ideal to go. We are targeting the Ka’iwi Channel swim to take 17 – 18 hours, so starting in the late afternoon or early evening of one day should maximize the daylight window for the following day. We’ve been told by swimmers who are far better than me that this is a swim that you definitely don’t want to try to finish in the dark.

The biggest lesson we’ve learned from A Long Swim is the importance of teamwork. Without it, we don’t get to the starting beach, let alone to the finish line. With it, we have accomplished things beyond what any of us could have imagined. As a result of our swims, the A Long Swim team is as experienced as any team in the world, and we are honored to have folks like Don Macdonald and Meghan O’Doherty along with Susan McConnell and crew.

As with our other marathon swims, one of the big motivations behind A Long Swim is the ability to raise contributions for ALS research, and it even took its name from the ALS acronym. To date, A Long Swim has raised more than US$320,000 for ALS research, which makes it one of the top charity swims in history. It is a very rewarding time to be funding ALS research, as the pace of discovery is accelerating all the time.

The motivation for turning A Long Swim into its own charity was, once again, our commitment to teamwork. If teamwork can mean the difference of success for a marathon swim, we think that it can be the essential ingredient for ALS research. Given our absolute dedication to teamwork, funds raised by A Long Swim will be directed to collaborative ALS research.

Donations to A Long Swim may be made through www.ALongSwim.

For more information, visit www.ALongSwim.org.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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