Courtesy of Alton Motobu, Waikiki Roughwater Swim, Hawaii.

The Waikiki Roughwater Swim is one of the most historical and scenic mass participation ocean swims in the world.

Starting under the shadow of the Diamond Head volcano, the course takes swimmers of all ages and abilities across Waikiki Bay to the shores of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The course has stuck to its original distance of 2.4 miles, but the ocean conditions are always dynamic and changing, ranging from a fast current under glassy conditions pushing the swimmers towards the finish to lateral and oncoming currents and turbulence pushing swimmers away from the finish.

Historical statistics were recently updated byAlton Motobu with data from the 2017 race, based on 46 races between 1970-2017 (there were no races in 2005 and 2015 due to conditions).

First Place Overall – Most Finishes

4 by Paul Stader 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980

3 by Alex Kostich 1994, 2002, 2006

3 by Brett Phillips 1974, 1975, 1979

3 by Malcolm Allen 1996, 1997, 1999
3 by Rhys Mainstone 2012, 2013, 2017

2 by Joe Lileikis 1981, 1982

2 by Christopher Moore 1987, 1990

2 by John Flanagan 2000, 2001

2 by Noa Sakamoto 2004, 2007

2 by Trent Grimsey 2008, 2009

First Woman Overall – Most Finishes

8 by Kaili Chun 1976-82, 1984 [shown above]

4 by Nadine Takai Day 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

4 by Luana Rowe 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

3 by Lisa Hazen Johns 1991, 1993, 1995

2 by Stacey Gartrell 1996, 1997

2 by Trudee Hutchinson 2001, 2003

2 by Becca Mann 2012, 2014

Fastest Winning Times (regardless of buoy placement, drafting rules, currents, etc.)

Male
1. Jonathan Ezer in 1971 41:09

2. Daniel McLellan in 1992 42:13

3. Trent Grimsey in 2009 42:20

4. Darren Turner in 1993 42:38

5. Noa Sakamoto in 2007 43:37
6. George O’Brien in 2011 43:40

7. Alex Kostich in 2002 43:46

8. Rick Heltzel in 1984 43:47

9. Sam Chesser in 1972 43:49

10. Alex Kostich in 2006 45:25

Female

1. Lisa Hazen Johns in 1995 45:33

2. Lisa Hazen Johns in 1991 46:00

3. Liz Hogan in 1971 46:42

4. Kathy Shipman in 1972 46:49

5. Nadine Takai Day in 1988 46:55

6. Kaili Chun in 1984 46:58

7. Dawn Heckman in 2002 47:06

8. Luana Rowe in 2009 47:21

9. Lisa Hazen Johns in 1993 47:39

10. Stacey Gartrell in 1997 48:44

Slowest First Place Overall Finish Times

1. Grant Cleland in 2003 1:04:25

2. Jim Montgomery in 1985 1:00:29

3. Ollie Signorini in 2016 59:48

Most Top-3 Overall Finishes

9 times by Alex Kostich in 1993, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2016

7 times by John Flanagan in 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2009
5 times by Paul Stader in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
5 times by Max Metzker in 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989
5 times by Christopher Moore in 1982, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992
5 times by Noa Sakamoto in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007

Most Top-3 Women Finishes

9 times by Kaili Chun in 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984

8 times by Nadine Takai Day in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2003, 2007
6 times by Luana Rowe in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
4 times by Lisa Hazen Johns in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995

Fastest Woman Finisher in Overall Results by Place closest to 1st overall finisher

* Nancy Ivy in 1973, 3rd Place Overall Finisher

* Kaili Chun in 1976, 3rd Place Overall Finisher

* Kathy Shipman in 1972, 5th Place Overall Finisher

* Julia Francisco in 1975, 5th Place Overall Finisher

* Kaili Chun in 1979, 5th Place Overall Finisher

* Kaili Chun in 1980, 5th Place Overall Finisher

* Nadine Takai Day in 1988, 5th Place Overall Finisher

Fastest Woman Finisher in Overall Results by Time closest to 1st overall finisher

* Lisa Hazen Johns in 1995 6th overall (46:00), 18 seconds behind 1st Overall finisher (45:42)

* Stacey Gartrell in 1997 9th overall (48:44), 24 seconds behind 1st Overall finisher (48:20)

* Karen Burton in 1992 8th overall (55:57), 48 seconds behind 1st Overall finisher (55:09)

* Nancy Ivy in 1973 3rd overall (49:15), 1 minutes 18 seconds behind 1st Overall finisher (47:57)

* Nadine Takai Day in 1988 5th overall (46:55), 1 minute 23 seconds behind 1st Overall finisher (45:32)

* Kaili Chun in 1976 3rd overall (47:47), 1 minute 24 seconds behind 1st Overall finisher (46:23)

Closest Margin of Victory for First Overall

1. George O’Brien in 2011 43:40

2. Codie Grimsey in 2011 43:40

1. Brett Phillips in 1979 48:02

2. Tore Blichfeldt in 1979 48:03

3. Paul Stader in 1979 48:04

1. Rick Heltzel in 1984 43:47

2. Max Metzker in 1984 43:48

1. Bobby Patten in 1991 45:42

2. David Lundberg in 1991 45:43

Youngest First Place Overall Finisher

* Jonathan Ezer in 1971 at age 15

* Les Wulk Barkley in 1973 at age 15

Youngest First Woman Finisher

* Kathy Shipman in 1972 at age 11

Oldest First Place Overall Finisher

* Alex Kostich in 2006 at age 36

Oldest First Woman Finisher

* Marjorie Phillips in 1970 at age 38

Most Top-3 Age Group Finishes

Men
* Rick Heltzel 1st-12x, 2nd-8x, 3rd-3x 24

* Ernie Leskovitz 1st-20x, 2nd-1x, 3rd-2x 23

* Mo Mathews 1st-14x, 2nd-6x, 3rd-1x 21

* Fred Trask 1st-8x, 2nd-5x, 3rd-4x 17
* Jim Welch 1st-8x, 2nd-6x 14
* Alex Kostich 1st-12x, 2nd-2x 14
Heltzel’s 2 overall Top 3 finishes are not counted in these age group totals. Kostich’s 9 overall Top 3 finishes are not counted in these totals

Women

* Betty Ann Cary Barnett Sallee 1st-33x, 2nd-2x, 3rd-1x 36

* Diane Stowell 1st-22x, 2nd-1x 23
* Sui-Lan Ellsworth 1st-3x, 2nd-10x, 3rd-4x 17

* Miki Yoshida David 1st-7x, 2nd-3x, 3rd-4x 14

Oldest Finishers*

Men

* Gerald O’Regan from Hawaii at age 88 in 1988

* Jim Cotton from California at age 84 11 months in 2017

* H. William Burgess from Hawaii at age 84 in 2012

Women:
* Lori Auhll from Hawaii at age 81 in 2017

* Ruth Manfredi from Hawaii at age 78 in 2002

Youngest Finishers*

Boys

* Timothy Marr at age 7 in 1986

* Chris Bartels at age 7 in 1974

* Donald Chong at age 7 in 1972

* Davis Brahman at age 7 in 2016

Girls:

* Elise Baker at age 7 in 1999

* Anela Peneku at age 7 in 1978

* Terese D’Orazio at age 7 in 1973

* Robin Utu at age 7 in 1972

* there may be more swimmers, but ages were not listed in results for some years

Top 25 Most Finishes 1970-2017

1. Ray Nakamoto 65 years 1976-2014 37

2. Betty Ann Cary Barnett Sallee 71 years 1972-2017 36

3. Alton Motobu 67 years 1980-2017 35
4. Bruce Clark 75 years 1975-2017 33

5. Joe Lileikis 54 years 1981-2017 32

6. Rick Heltzel 60 years 1984-2017 30
6. Carl Kawauchi 71 years 1981-2014 30

6. Phyllis Quinn 61 years 1982-2017 30
6. Patrick Dixon 67 years 1985-2016 30

10. Todd Presley 54 years 1987-2017 28

11. Diane Corn 59 years 1985-2017 26

11. Jill Buss 61 years 1988-2017 26

13. Laurie Foster 62 years 1980-2017 25

13. Valisa Saunders 63 years 1981-2017 25

15. Russell Iwamura 56 years 1983-2016 25

16. Robert Roper 71 years 1974-2010 24

17. Alex Kostich 47 years 1993-2017 23
17. Uli Klinke 73 years 1976-2017 23
19. Diane Stowell 72 years 1981-2006 23

20. Ernie Leskovitz 77 years 1991-2014 23

21. Lynn Jolly 51 years 1992-2017 22
22. Sui-Lan Ellsworth 64 years 1988-2011 22

23. Linda Kaiser 59 years 1984-2009 22

24. Ellen Shockro 72 years 1987-2014 22
25. Mo Mathews 77 years 1976-2004 21
*Age as of last participation in Waikiki Roughwater Swim

Most Consecutive Finishes:

1. Alton Motobu 1986-2017 30

2. Patrick Dixon 1985-2016 30

3. Ray Nakamoto 1976-2002 27

4. Todd Presley 1990-2017 26
5. Carl Kawauchi 1981-2006 25

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association