In a little over six weeks from now our club will be hosting the Hanalei Bay Swim Challenge for the 8th year in a row! When Dick and Barbara Smith first came up with the idea of a canoe club putting on a swim meet as a fundraiser people thought they had swallowed too much sea water. The very first year 60 swimmers proved that they were in fact on the right course. Last year with a few changes and the addition of a website and online registration over 270 swimmers from the other islands, mainland and as far away as Australia participated. (We just received registration forms from a swimmer from Japan!)
Our club was rewarded with the Swim being honored as One of the Top 100 Open Water Swims in the United States……there are thousands of swims just in the US alone! One of the many reasons we were honored was due to our Safety Patrol volunteers who had paddled their SUP boards alongside the swimmers helping to keep them on course as well as providing a sense of security and safety. Chris Pico and Dylan Thomas shared their expertise and put on a 30 minute life saving course on the beach for our patrol just before they hit the water. This year like last, we just received a commitment from Kalani Vierra that the Fire Department will be at the Swim with jet skiis and lifeguards for the entire event…….this is Huge. On our Swim Challenge website we also added an Ocean Safety tab where locals and visitors can take just six minutes and review with their families the video that plays at baggage claim at the airport…..check it out.
A 17 year old swimmer from Kailua-Kona, Leahi Camacho last August swam solo from the west coast of Molokai to Oahu in just under 15 hours. She has agreed to be our Ambassador to Swimming and will help officiate the event by leading the Keiki in both their races as well as handing out medals in the 1000 & 3000 meter races.
An Early Bird Contest was launched June 1st and will expire at midnight June 30th…..spread the word, Now. Essentially if a swimmer registers during June ‘and’ LIKES us on Facebook they can qualify to win a Two night stay at the St Regis Princeville and dinner for two. The details are on the website. A Big Mahalo to Shantel Thornton for her assistance with this fantastic prize!!!
The Swim Challenge has taken on a life of its own, simply read the full page article in Today’s Garden Island. This event cannot happen without ALL of our members and their families assistance and community volunteers. Expect to hear about the Swim at each practice as we begin to get commitments from each of you as to how you can help.
As Kawkia Goodale said at men’s practice last night; “we are a small club with a big heart and we all must step up at this event for the good of the club”……thanks to the six men who already signed up for the safety patrol. PLEASE clear your calendar now for July 26th.
If you have not seen the Hanalei Bay Swim Challenge site, please check it out now. Please take a moment and forward it to all those you know, even if they don’t swim…..they know somebody that does!