The feats and drive of open water swimmers across the famed 26-mile (42 km) Molokai Channel just keeps going up and up.
Since Keo Nakama completed the first crossing in 1961, the channel has challenged some of the best and hardiest swimmers in the world. Stephen Redmond was the latest swimmer to experience an epic battle against the mean channel that throws ocean swells and tidal flows at swimmers like few other places on Earth.
But the drive of Adam Walker of the UK was beyond belief.
Walker finished his Molokai Channel attempt in just over 17 hours. “Because of extremely bad currents, he could not get in at Sandy Beach [the traditional and closest finish point," reported Hawaiian channel legend Linda Kaiser.
Walker had predicted a 14-15 hour swim on his third leg of the Oceans Seven, but he was not about to quit until he got the job done. So he kept on swimming in his charity swim for Sportsaid and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. As tides kept on driving him from being able to head into the coast, he kept on swimming southward around the island, constantly driving to find the one break that would allow him closure.
"He couldn't get in at Sandy Beach...or Portlock...or Kahala," Kaiser recalls. "He finally arrived at theDiamond Head lighthouse around 11 pm. That was after being driven backwards towards Kahala for a bit. He got hit by some Portuguese man of war and scraps from coming over the reef, but he did it."
Walker, with his 17 hour 2 minute swim, adds another channel to his resume, except this time he extended the course to a distance that was unprecedented. He has also completed a solo English Channel swim in 2008 and relays in both 2007 and 2008 as well as a two-way swim across the Strait of Gibraltar.
"That is the hardest swim I have ever done. I've done the English Channel, Morocco, Spain, but uhh... But it's all good. It's all over. Pain just lasts for a day, success lasts for a lifetime that's what they say," said Adam to local TV station KHON.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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