From Lima To Lanai: Becca Mann To Attempt The Maui Nui Triangle

From Lima To Lanai: Becca Mann To Attempt The Maui Nui Triangle

Maui Nui Triangle Swim course between the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai
From Lima To Lanai: Becca Mann To Attempt Maui Nui
Courtesy of WOWSA, MauiMolokaiLanai, Hawaii.

On August 10th in Lima, Peru at the 2019 Pan American Games 1500m freestyle final won by Delfina Pignatiello of Argentina, a slew of open water swimmers finished in the Top 10: Kristel Köbrich of Chile (2nd in 16:18.19), Becca Mann of USA (3rd in 16:23.23), Mariah Denigan of the USA (4th in 16:27.50), Viviane Jungblut of Brazil (5th in 16:30.00), Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil (7th in 16:39.83), and María Bramont-Arias of Peru (10th in 17:13.47).

Of those distance freestylers, one got on a flight right away: Becca Mann was heading to Hawaii. She had to switch gears very quickly from 30 laps in a 50m climate-controlled pool to the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Mann is on her way to attempt the famed – but not yet completed – Maui Nui Triangle Swim.

Harry Huffaker pioneered the attempt at the 63.79 km swim [read about his original attempt here]. Back in 1989 at the age of 50, Dr. Huffaker attempted the unprecedented 63 km 3 Islands Swim, the first solo swim attempt between MauiLanai and Molokai in the state of Hawaii.  But after 31 hours and nearly 50 very tough kilometers, Dr. Huffaker faced the insurmountable currents and conditions in his last wind-blown channel and aborted the attempt.

Now 30 years later, Dr. Huffaker is mentoring Becca so she can try to complete what he started,” said Steven Munatones. “Harry has been more than generous and inspirational.  30 years ago, he used his 3 Islands Swim to raise money for kids – and now he continues to help young people like Becca to realize their dreams.  He is a remarkable individual.”

This week, Mann will be escorted by Captain Michael Twigg-Smith with the assistance of Steve Haumschild to attempt the 57.58 km Maui Nui Triangle Swim.

The experienced pair of watermen have strategized on the optimal counter-clockwise course, in addition to optional back-up plans depending on the weather, wind and conditions:

Channel #1 (Pailolo Channel): 15.75 km from Black Rock on Maui to Pukoo Harbor on Molokai; estimated time of 5.5 hours heading north northwest swimming in the rear side on to the trade winds

Channel #2 (Kalohi Channel): 26.50 km from Pukoo Harbor on Molokai to Club Lanai on Lanai; estimated time of 7.5 hours heading south swimming perpendicular to the trade winds

Channel #3 (Auau Channel): Club Lanai on Lanai to Black Rock on Maui: 15.33 km, estimated time of 4.75 hours heading northeast swimming side on trade winds

Mann knows the state of Hawaii very well, “Hawaii is my favorite place on the planet. I spent a lot of time there growing up and remember taking the ferry from Maui to Lanai and thinking about the names in the display who had swum the ferry ride.”

Her goal is to complete the swim in between 15 and 20 hours. The full route can be viewed below:

Mann set up a GoFundMe page here.

Munatones confirmed, “She will follow the traditional marathon and channel swimming rules including these fundamental rules governing multiple crossings in the Maui Nui channels.”
1. Swimmer can start and finish at any point of the three islands.
2. Swimmer must completely clear the water after swimming across each of the three channels between the three islands.
3. Swimmer may spend up to 10 minutes on the islands to rest, hydrate, feed, apply additional sunscreen, communicate with their escort team, or change swimming attire or gear.
4. When swimmer finishes on island #1 after swimming across channel #1 and when swimmer finishes on island #2 after swimming across channel #2, swimmer must re-enter the water at the same location where the swimmer exited the water.
5. Swimmer can finish anywhere on the island #3 after swimming across channel #3.  The finish on island #3 does not have to be the same exact point as the start on that same island.
6. Swimmer can be escorted by pace swimmers, paddlers, kayakers and escort boats, but no drafting is allowed.
7. Swimmer can stop at any time to rehydrate, feed, rest, stretch or communicate with escort crew during the three channel crossings.  But swimmer cannot touch any flotation device, boat, kayak or paddle board or be propelled or pulled by other individuals or boats during the entire swim.
8. Swimmer can use any stroke or form of propulsion to swim across the channels including freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and sidestroke.
9. Swimmer can use sunscreen, jellyfish protection, Shark Shield devices (or similar safety equipment), earplugs, a swim cap, and a swimsuit during the swim, but no fins, hand paddles, wetsuits, neoprene suits, stinger suits, or buoyant materials, devices or swim gear may be used.
10. In case of an emergency situation due to weather, conditions, injury or marine life encounters, the well being of the swimmer and escort crew is of paramount importance.

For more information, visit Mann’s GoFundMe page here or @BeccaMannSwims.

Mann will be escorted by Captain Michael Twigg-Smith with the assistance of Haumschild, kayaker Shelley Oates-Wilding, relief Captain Mike Scott, feeder/mother Beth Mann, kayaker Kainoa Lopes, and crew member Ecar Roush with the planning and organization conducted by the Kaiwi Channel Association.

Copyright @ 2008 – 2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones