Katie Benoit, a police officer from Colorado Springs, yesterday became the third swimmer in the past year to successfully swim the Kaiwi Channel from Molokai to Oahu.
Benoit began the 26-mile swim from Papohaku Beach at 11:09 p.m. Saturday night and finished at 5:09 p.m. at Sandy Beach after dealing with rough, turbulent conditions in the channel. The 18-hour ordeal means that Benoit now has three Oceans Seven channels in her resume.
It was in 2012 that Benoit proved her selflessness, and swimming skills, when a massive hailstorm flooded an intersection near the Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs. Benoit jumped into action and entered the rising, freezing waters to help rescue people from their flooding cars. She emerged a real-life heroine.
But Benoit is no newcomer to the challenges of open ocean swimming. She completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with a 13 hour 13 minute crossing of the English Channel, a 10 hour 41 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel, a 8 hour 44 minute circumnavigation of Manhattan Island as well as other swims, including the 12.5-mile Swim Around Key West in Florida and the 10-kilometer Horsetooth Reservoir swim in Colorado.
Now that the Kaiwi Channel has become a popular destination for open ocean marathon swimmers, a blog has started to support them. The Molokai Channel Swim blog provides important and useful information for any swimmer who dares to challenge the Kaiwi Channel.