Photos courtesy of © Sarah Ferguson‘s 18 km swim from Umlanga to Durban in South Africa. Report courtesy of Linda Kaiser, Ka’iwi Channel, Hawaii.

South African Sarah Ferguson from Durbin became the first African to successfully swim the Ka’iwi Channel from Molokai to Oahu.

Linda Kaiser reports, “She started at Kepuhi Beach on Molokai Island a 10:06 pm and finished on Oahu’s Makapu’u Beach at 4:00 pm the next day. Sarah got caught in the dreaded current that runs off the shelf about six miles from shore.

Instead of swimming the 26 miles in a straight line to Sandy Beach, her course took her a roundabout 37 miles, pushing her to Rabbit Island before getting into Makapu’u. In the first hour, a shark swam right across her. Another 2 black tip sharks checked her out for a while during the daylight hours.

She finished her swim with a great body surf up to the beach.

The primary goal of her swim was to create awareness of the dire need for ocean conservation as well as to educate rural communities on the importance of conservation and development.

When I retired from competitive pool swimming, I had a strong sense that my career as an athlete was not yet over. After doing a 2 km ocean swim for the first time with a local swimming club while travelling in Hawaii, I realised how much I loved open water swimming and that set in motion a journey to explore my purpose in swimming and making the best use of my talents.

I love the sea and I’m inspired by athletes like Penny Heyns and Lewis Pugh to use my talent to the best of my ability for something bigger than myself.

So I am now embarking on my own adventure to use my God-given talents to inspire other people to use theirs. I have partnered with a local organisation called I am Water as well as Deep & Beyond. My passion for the environment and empowering people to reach their full potential are well represented by both of these organisations.”

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