William K. (Opelu) Pai

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William K. (Opelu) Pai (Bill Pai) reportedly completed the first Molokai Channel crossing in 1939 when he rowed out to sea off the island of Molokai and swam to Oahu. This is an uncertified crossing by the Hawaiian Channel Swim Association.

According to the book Hawai’i Sports: History, Facts and Statistics and the account by Ray Tsuchiyama, the Hawaiian fisherman started his swim at Ilio Point and finished at the Blowhole near Sandy Beach on Oahu in 18 hours and 56 minutes. However, he was rowed 50 yards from shore to start his swim off Molokai. Because the Hawaiian Channel Swim Association rules require that swimmers must complete certified swims from shore to shore, Keo Nakama is recognized as the first official swimmer across the Molokai Channel in 1961.

Molokai Channel Swimmer List

The individuals who have been certified by the Hawaiian Channel Swim Association to have successfully swum across the Molokai Channel:

1. 1961 - Keo Nakama (age 40)
2. 1967 - Harry Huffaker (27)
3. 1972 - Harry Huffaker (32) from Oahu to Molokai
4. 1974 - Jonathan Ezer (18)
5. 1979 - Michael Miller (25)
6. 1979 - Ian Emberson (28)
7. 1994 - Robin Isayama (26) first female
8. 2006 - Forrest Nelson (40) from Oahu to Molokai
9. 2006 - Forrest Nelson (41)
10. 2006 - Bill Goding (53)
11. 2007 - Mike Spalding (60)
12. 2007 - Kelly Gleason (32)
13. 2007 - Linda Kaiser (57)
14. 2009 - Mackenzie Miller (19)
15. 2010 - Chris Palfrey (52)
16. 2011 - Penny Palfrey (49)
17. 2011 - Darren Miller (28)
18. 2011 - Michelle Macy
19. 2011 - Anne-Carin
20. 2011 - Samantha Simon
21. 2011 - Anne-Carin Nordin
22. 2011 - Penny Palfrey (49)

Video

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