There were a few.
I had a good long smile when I saw the first to register for the Ka'iwi Channel Swim was Linda Kaiser. She is the most accomplished open water swimmer from Hawaii and was also the first person to swim all of the Hawaiian Channels. Mike Spalding is the only other person to swim them all.
Here's the list:
- 26-mile Kaiwi Channel (Molokai-Oahu)
- 8.8-mile Auau Channel Maui-Lanai)
- 9.3-mile Kalohi Channel (Lanai-Molokai)
- 7-mile Alalakeiki Channel (Kahoolawe-Maui)
- 8.4-mile Pailolo Channel (Maui-Molokai)
- 17-mile Kaulakahi Channel (Kauai-Niihau)
- 17-mile Kealaikahiki Channel (Kahoolawe-Lanai)
- 32-mile Alenuihaha Channel (Hawaii-to-Maui)
- 72-mile Kaieiewaho Channel (Oahu-Kauai) with a 6-person relay
Linda is also the welcoming committee for all Ka'iwi Channel swimmers. Every time I escort a swimmer across the Ka'iwi Channel, Linda is waiting on shore with a smile and a warm towel. She is not only an amazing swimmer but also a really great lady who wants to give back to those following in her wake. And that's where most other swimmers are.
She obviously wanted to be the first to register (and somehow managed it a full week before registration was open!) and only said "I'm putting a team together."
Anybody who thinks they might win this race better pay close attention to the team Linda puts together.