Sarah Thomas completes 26-mile Molokai Channel crossing

Sarah Thomas Molokai Channel

4-way English Channel Swimmer, Sarah Thomas, announced on her Instagram page on Monday that she had successfully swam across the Kaiwi (Molokai) Channel in Hawaii, after setting off late on Friday 12 February.

She completed the 26-mile stretch of ocean between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu in 12 hours, 39 minutes.

"I didn't tell more than a handful of people we were going to Hawaii – partly because I am sensitive to feelings around travel right now, but also because it was so last minute I didn't want anyone watching if I failed or got eaten by a shark," the ultra-marathon swimmer said after the swim.

"Luckily, the ocean was very kind and we zipped across the Channel much faster than expected on my lack of training and respect for variable ocean conditions.

"The wind and currents were in my favour and I found myself literally body surfing to Oahu. And nothing bitey or even stingy came to get me in the dark."

The Molokai Kaiwi Channel is one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world, with strong winds, strong currents, and large swells creating unpredictable conditions.

The crossing is also known for shark attacks. There have been three incidents of Cookiecutter sharks biting swimmers attempting the swim since 2009. All swimmers made a full recovery. It is believed the lights on the pilot boat attract marine life that sharks feed on.

You can read more about Sarah's swim in next month's issue of Outdoor Swimmer magazine.

01 Cover May

Issue 49 May 2021

  • How weather can affect your swim
  • How to train for your first open water mile
  • Where to swim in the Lake District
  • How pioneer women swimmers not only took on men in the open water but also campaigned for the vote
  • Training sessions to ease you back into the pool

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