Joel Wilson - Maui Channel
Lanai to Maui
17.3 km (10.7 miles)
4 hours, 31 minutes on 3 September 2019
Observed and documented by Cynthia Hertzer
- Name: Joel Wilson
- Gender: male
- Age on swim date: 70
- Nationality: United Staes
- Resides: Santa Cruz, California
- Keith Baxter - pilot
- Kathy Hertzer - crew, doctor
- Cynthia Hertzer - observer, crew
Escort Vessel: Big Wave (Mala Ramp, Maui)
- Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
- Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
- Equipment used: Swimsuit, goggles, latex cap
Club Lanai to Ka’anapali Beach
- Body of Water: ‘Au’au (Maui) Channel, Pacific Ocean
- Route Type: one-way
- Start Location: Club Lanai, Island of Lanai (20.82847, -156.80986)
- Finish Location: Kahekili (Airport) Beach, Island of Maui (20.939553, -156.692731)
- Route Distance:
- Minimum channel distance: 14.2 km (8.8 miles)
- Straight line between start location and finish location: 17.3 km (10.75 miles)
LongSwimsDB: Auau Channel
- Start: 3 September 2019, 06:31:34 (Pacific/Honolulu, UTC-10).
- Finish: 3 September 2019, 11:03:18
- Elapsed: 4 hours, 31 minutes, 35 seconds.
Summary of Conditions
|Water Temp (C)||29||30|
|Air Temp (C)|
|Wind (Beaufort scale)||0||1 (NW)|
From NOAA buoy 51213:
Trackpoint frequency: 15 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).
Nutrition: Accelerade (lemon-lime flavor), Accel gels (chocolate, vanilla, espresso)
I started this swim with the goal in mind to get across as quickly as possible. Three days previously I had participated in this same swim with a relay team from the South End Rowing Club. For the relay, we had 2.5 hours of beautiful water and weather, cruising along nicely.
Then, the wind and current took over the swim and made it something completely different. The current was later described as the strongest ever in the history of the Maui Channel Relay. Winds were consistently 12-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph. These were the conditions for the last three hours of the swim. The ocean turned into the proverbial washing machine and we did a lot of swimming in place while getting pushed north of Black Rock.
There were, I believe, thirty-eight relay teams (and a few solo swimmers) participating that day. Due to the challenging conditions, only five teams finished the swim. Our SERC team was one of those teams. Our time was about 5:40.
With that in mind, I knew I had to keep up as fast a pace as possible because the conditions could change within a few minutes. The current kicked in at about 2 hours but the wind did not come up. My swim was very different than the relay swim. Without the wind I only had to contend with the strong, about 4 mph, current.
I swam for another 2.5 hours, got pushed about 1500 meters north of Black Rock, and, realizing I would not get back to the traditional finish at Kaanapali Beach, I swam east until landing on shore, clambering across some slippery rocks below a condo, somewhere in the vicinity of Airport Blvd.
Total time: 4:31
Click to enlarge.