Courtesy of Lexie Kelly, Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii.

Valisa Saunders first did the Waikiki Roughwater Swim in 1981 while she was visiting Oahu on vacation.

But over the decades, she has entered all the 2.4-mile ocean swims since 1984 with only a few exceptions.

The 63-year-old ocean swimming veteran currently leads the WRS finish course clinic where she guides swimmers of all ages and abilities to learn how best to sight and race safely as they swim through the boat channel in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. This is where many swimmers get stuck swimming slowly – or backwards – if they cannot strategically manage the fast-flowing waters between the coral reefs.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association