DNOWS Header

Image Map

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Tahiti To Mo'orea Channel Swims

Courtesy of Seti Afoa, Samoa Swim Series, Tahiti to Mo'orea.

Saison 3 of the 2019 Tahiti Swimming Experience will include a 20 km cross-channel ocean swim between Ta'apuna on Tahiti and Plage de Tema'e on Mo'orea in October 2019.

The stage was set by Seti Afoa of Samoa Swim Series who organized the first land-to-land Tahiti to Mo'orea channel crossing on October 7th.

Afoa, who also organizes the Apolima Strait crossing in Samoa every July, organized the 19.5 km channel attempt for Christina Harris and Mike Cochrane with observer Roger Matheson. He reported the crossing, "The start was at the Manava Suite Resort and the swimmers finished at Marina Reserve at Vai’are on Mo’orea.

Sunday offered the best conditions for the [channel] swim which was also the only day I had allocated for the test swim. Obviously there were reserve days in the bank should we needed to change, but October 7th was the preferred option.

Everything was then set for a start early the next morning.

Mike and Christina started the swim at 5:47 am with plenty of daylight [as] sunrise was 5:36 am. The course was straightforward, [they] swam through the channel to the channel marker 1.3 km outside the reef with the outgoing tide in 14 minutes.

Then it was a 17 km straight line to the Mo’ore’a (Vai’are) channel marker and from there to finish on the east side of the Vai’are Marina.

Total straight line distance is 19.5 km.

The wind forecast was 8 knots and increasing to 13 knots in the afternoon. It was from the east which meant the first half of the swim was relatively calm on the leeward side of Tahiti. Once out in the open wind flow tendered from the north and eastward toward Mo’orea. The effect was wind assist at a relative rate of knots.

Tide assistance was the biggest influence on the swim surging from the south and pushing the swimmers north east towards the desired destination. The course outlay lends itself to this layout of north east direction. The chop did rise in the afternoon which for Mike and Christina was at the end of their swim. The plan was for the swimmers to reach the channel on Mo'orea before the tide turned at 11:45 which would make swimming into the channel a near mission impossible.

Starting at 5:47 when we did meant the window of ease was relatively small to reach Mo’orea in less than 7 hours. Being the first time for this swim, we had no data to go on with time frames of swimming land to land. Previous Tahiti-Mo’orea swims that are recorded were channel marker to channel marker. Our agenda was land to land, the unknown factor was entering the channel with an outgoing tide and what effect that was going to have. The other factor was with the tide cycle.

Christina and Mike reached the Mo’orea/Vai’are channel marker at 12:10 pm and just after the tide turned. Fortunately, the big emptying of the lagoon into the wide ocean was only beginning and the swimmers were able to negotiate themselves through the channel with relative ease. One thing to note here is the tide cycle we had chosen for this swim. It was on the high side at 3 meters on high, high tide at low tide cycle is 1.2 meters so there is a major difference in the volume of water in the channel between the two cycles. We learnt this lesson with Apolima Strait where all our swims are now on the low end of the tide cycle.

The finish was the worst part of the swim. It is not pretty at the exit point, but when you have just swum [nearly] 20 km any land is a great sight. The swimmers finished side by side, total time was 6 hours 44 minutes with a [total cumulative distance] reading of 20.5 km

On the same day, Afoa also organized a 17 km channel marker-to-channel marker crossing for Su Scott, Jacques Paul de Reuck and Rebecca Bowden.

"Su and Jacques chose to do a different swim going 17 km from channel marker to channel marker. This was to compensate for the difference in speed. So Su and Jacques arranged for their own boat and chose the distance for themselves.

[But] they also had the worst of the conditions and circumstances. They were not able to start with Mike and Christina at 5:47, due to boat non-arrival. They then left with the test swim boat and were 5 km toward Mo'orea when the replacement boat turned up. They had no hesitation in returning to the channel marker 5 km away to start their swim shortly before 8 am and two hours behind the test swim.

It meant they got the worst of the afternoon conditions. Bex swam with them for 10.2 km, that too was amazing given the limited swimming for her. As rough as the conditions were, they were more than equal to it. They did the crossing from channel marker to channel marker in 8 hours 13 minutes. This is an amazing achievement for relatively new ocean swimmers

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.

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