DNOWS Header

Image Map

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

When Stephen Redmond Faced The Great Wall Of China

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Six years ago today, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer Stephen Redmond completed a 22 hour 29 minute swim across the Moloka'i Channel.

After leaving Papohako Beach on Molokai Island at 6:00 pm and swimming through the night, he finished at China Walls at 5:59 pm the following day.

Epic is often used by marathon swimmers to describe their achievements, but the adjective was apropos in this case. It was his final few hours in the rough Hawaiian waters that are legendary given the layout of the giant lava rock that Redmond was trying to reach.

Lifeguards, surfers and swimmers familiar with Oahu shake their heads at the extraordinary lengths that Redmond gutted it out to complete his crossing. With the currents running against him, he completely missed Sandy Beach on eastern Oahu (near white number 4 in the map on left).

With Sandy Beach an impossibility as Redmond moved further away from Oahu, he kept on swimming. But he also got swept past Hanauma Bay (number 3 in the map on left) where the Keo Nakama, Mike Spalding and Kelly Gleason once landed on their Molokai Channel swims.

But the former Irish rugby player was from finished. He kept plugging away.

As his crew scouted places for him to finish, Redmond only faced sheer rock cliffs, jagged lava rock, and perilous bits of terra firma jutting out like razor-sharp wire into the warm Pacific (see photo above). His crew knew that it was the anticipated finish on a sandy shore was a luxury that Redmond would not offered on this day. Faced with no options, he kept swimming southward and drifted westward past the extinct volcanoes and towards the famed Diamond Head overlooking Waikiki Beach.

Only when he reached the sheltered waters of Maunalua Bay was there any possibility of ending successfully. Somehow, nearly miraculously, he navigated a finish at China Walls (near yellow number 4 on the map of Oahu above).

"I still cannot believe we got away with it, but they tell me we did I was in shock and near death when I got out. But with such people as you behind me, I cannot fail. Thank you all," posted Redmond on his Facebook page.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The 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 Swimming

An 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.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program