Everything You Need to Know About the Race, Relays and Solo Swims

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ka'iwi Channel Swim Race

The past few months have been busy.  My fellow race director, Steve Haumschild, and I have had endless meetings and a ton of logistics to go over. We've also been working our way through legal issues, permits and the website. We are committed to making this swim the most memorable swimming adventure that any of the participants have ever been in.

As race directors, both Steve and I  have been sweating all the things that can go wrong.  I won't go over the whole list, but we've done a fair bit stressing over adverse weather as well as swimmers mixing with boats and the various sea critters that call the Ka'iwi Channel their home.  But it hasn't all been bad, we also spent time thinking about how this swim can be the most exciting adventure in the open water swimming world.

For this post, I want to explain the swim in plain language.  It is described in a more detailed, technical and even legal manner elsewhere. (See sidebar on the right.)

Steve and I have been escorts for an impressive list of swimmers who have challenged the Ka'iwi Channel. These experiences served to fuel some conversations about a race. Although we thought about it, single swimmers were going to take longer than the available light to swim the channel and for that reason a solo division was ruled out. Safety first.

So we were left with the excitement of a team swim. Our imaginations took off and we started putting together our dream teams. I imagined a team of Penny and Chris Palfrey swimming against Darren Miller and Oliver Wilkenson. I also thought Quinn Carver should come back to swim with friend Bill Goding.  It just took off from there with a whole evening devoted to various scenarios where the best open water swimmers in the world were competing  across 28 miles of dramitically beautiful, deep blue and wide open Hawaiian water.
So, this is where we are now. On August 24, 2013, the Ka'iwi Channel Swim LLC is putting on a very open water, island to island 28 mile swim between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu. Two and six person teams. Mix it up any way you want. The swim will start on the west side of Molokai at first light. Its going to take most, if not all, of the day to finish. The swim ends at sunset. Game over, better luck next year. Get back in the boat. The best will finish at Sandy Beach on the east coast of Oahu before sunset.

All teams obviously have to have an escort boat.  Each team will also need non-motorized escort for, at a minimum, the beginning and ending of the race.   There are no restrictions on who swims for how long. Whatever works for your team.

All escort boats will have a real time GPS device both for safety, and so that all those who couldn't make it this year can see what's going on. We'll also make sure to get cell phone messages out and you can follow things on Facebook and Twitter.

This swim will be intense!  It will also be beautiful, extremely difficult and, for those of us who love this kind of thing, a lot of fun.

Also, not because I want to spoil all the fun, I will have to point out the risks. I'll save those for another post but those of you who would be likely to sign up know what to expect.

This swim is only for strong, fast and experienced open water swimmers.  Whoever is going to be team captain needs to register and vouch for their team.  If we ok your team, we'll send you an email with further race and payment info.  You don't need to have your whole team ready to register but we will need full team list by July 15.  The limit is 40 teams so think it through but don't take too long.

The Registration link on this site goes live March 15, 2013. That gives you a few weeks to think things over and us some time to get more done on this website.

I imagine you now have some questions. Please post them below or send me an email at kozhawaii@gmail.com.

I will be posting at least once a week with further updates and more details on the most intense open water swim anywhere.

Jeff Kozlovich

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