Bárbara Hernández becomes first South American to swim the Molokai Channel

​The Chilean has now completed four of the Ocean's Seven swims

Barbara Hernandez Molokai
(c) José Domingo Cheyre

Marathon swimmer Bárbara Hernández has become the first South American to swim the Molokai Channel in Hawaii.

The Chilean battled a strong current and jellyfish to complete the 42km crossing between the islands of Molokai and Oahu in 15 hours and 41 minutes.

Hernández has now swum four of the seven Oceans Seven swims, as she bids to become just the seventh person to compete the challenge. She has the North Channel, Cook Strait and the Tsugaru Strait still to attempt.

On her Instagram after the swim, Hernández wrote: "Recovery is going well. Thank you for all the messages of support, for sharing your stores of endurance and good vibes, and for swimming with me for so many hours.

"It took almost 3.5 hours to complete the last 6km of evil current, and with the jellyfish sting on my leg I was almost immobilised, but I kept on fighting till the end.

"I love my team – Paulina Alvarez, Valen, José Domingo, Gabriel Torres Galaz and Camila Alzérreca – and what we are able to achieve together, and Captain Mike, Shelley and the crew made us feel at home."

01 Cover June 21

Issue 50 June 2021

  • The Spell of the Sea: Why does the ocean hold such an allure?
  • How can we turn the tide and make outdoor swimming more accessible for all?
  • Smash you mile PB with a training plan from triple Olympian Keri-anne Payne
  • Adventure swimming: How to get started in swimcamping
  • Will swimming outdoors make my Raynaud's worse?

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