From Lima To Lanai: Becca Mann To Attempt Maui Nui
On August 10th in Lima, Peru at the 2019 Pan American Games 1500m freestyle final won by Delfina Pignatiello of Argentina, a slew of open water swimmers finished in the Top 10: Kristel Köbrich of Chile (2nd in 16:18.19), Becca Mann of USA (3rd in 16:23.23), Mariah Denigan of the USA (4th in 16:27.50), Viviane Jungblut of Brazil (5th in 16:30.00), Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil (7th in 16:39.83), and María Bramont-Arias of Peru (10th in 17:13.47).
Of those distance freestylers, one got on a flight right away: Becca Mann was heading to Hawaii. She had to switch gears very quickly from 30 laps in a 50m climate-controlled pool to the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Mann is on her way to attempt the famed – but not yet completed – Maui Nui Triangle Swim.
Harry Huffaker pioneered the attempt at the 63.79 km swim [read about his original attempt here]. Back in 1989 at the age of 50, Dr. Huffaker attempted the unprecedented 63 km 3 Islands Swim, the first solo swim attempt between Maui, Lanai and Molokai in the state of Hawaii. But after 31 hours and nearly 50 very tough kilometers, Dr. Huffaker faced the insurmountable currents and conditions in his last wind-blown channel and aborted the attempt.
“Now 30 years later, Dr. Huffaker is mentoring Becca so she can try to complete what he started,” said Steven Munatones. “Harry has been more than generous and inspirational. 30 years ago, he used his 3 Islands Swim to raise money for kids – and now he continues to help young people like Becca to realize their dreams. He is a remarkable individual.”
The experienced pair of watermen have strategized on the optimal counter-clockwise course, in addition to optional back-up plans depending on the weather, wind and conditions:
Channel #1 (Pailolo Channel): 15.75 km from Black Rock on Maui to Pukoo Harbor on Molokai; estimated time of 5.5 hours heading north northwest swimming in the rear side on to the trade winds
Channel #2 (Kalohi Channel): 26.50 km from Pukoo Harbor on Molokai to Club Lanai on Lanai; estimated time of 7.5 hours heading south swimming perpendicular to the trade winds
Channel #3 (Auau Channel): Club Lanai on Lanai to Black Rock on Maui: 15.33 km, estimated time of 4.75 hours heading northeast swimming side on trade winds
Mann knows the state of Hawaii very well, “Hawaii is my favorite place on the planet. I spent a lot of time there growing up and remember taking the ferry from Maui to Lanai and thinking about the names in the display who had swum the ferry ride.”
Her goal is to complete the swim in between 15 and 20 hours. The full route can be viewed below:
Mann set up a GoFundMe page here.
Munatones confirmed, “She will follow the traditional marathon and channel swimming rules including these fundamental rules governing multiple crossings in the Maui Nui channels.”
Mann will be escorted by Captain Michael Twigg-Smith with the assistance of Haumschild, kayaker Shelley Oates-Wilding, relief Captain Mike Scott, feeder/mother Beth Mann, kayaker Kainoa Lopes, and crew member Ecar Roush with the planning and organization conducted by the Kaiwi Channel Association.
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