HApuna Rough Water Swim 2019

Swimmers gathered on Saturday, June 8 th from around the island for the annual Hapuna Rough Water swim race sponsored by the Academy Swim Club in Waimea. This year’s race was coordinated with the Keep Puako Beautiful organization’s celebration of *World Oceans Day’s 10th Anniversary” which featured a Beach Cleanup and gathering including games and prizes (contact info-keeppuakobeautiful@gmail.com). It was breezy but the water conditions were perfect and fortunately Coach Dave had given us a head up at Friday’s swim practice to expect a very strong south to north current. He works as a Dive Master for Blue Wilderness and informed us that on his Friday morning dive, he had experienced one of the strongest currents he had ever experienced nearby to Hapuna Beach.

Our Friday’s warm up session at practice prepared us to swim extra long and steady against the current and not let our strokes become choppy which would eventually wear us out! Great advice and training from Coach Dave as he was exactly right. During my warm up session I swam south along the shoreline simulating the start then turned around and swam northward and found the strong current we would expect for the longest leg of the race approximately 1 kilometer!!

My friend Marcail and I decided to try and start together as we swim at a similar pace and right before we got into the water we observed the onshore winds pickup so headed for the deepest part of the start line furtherest to sea. Little did we know they would start the race before we reached that end of the starting line and both of us were left with the entire field of swimmers surging ahead of us leaving us near the tail end of the “train”. I didn’t realize how far back we were until I approached the first buoy and encountered 20-30 swimmers piling up. I was able to clip the entire group and race off to the second buoy which was further out to sea where I essentially did the same thing leaving me with clear sailing to the next group right about 50 yards ahead.

The longest leg was predictably into a strong current and I tried my best to look straight down at the bottom in order to hold as flat a position on the surface of the water as possible and rotate my hips and shoulders as smooth and steady as possible with each stroke. I never got tired and as I approached the last buoy I was able to catch the last group of 10 or more swimmers before I began my sprint to the finish. I remembered to run after exiting the water to the finish line as I jogged out of the water at the Cinco De Mayo swim in May and politely let another swimmer walk in front of me at the finish. He turned out to be in my age group and finished second in front of me. I want let that happen again 🙂

It was a great day for swimmers and the environment alike with Noe and Susan finishing in the first few swimmers out of the water and placing high in their age groups as usual. They both work hard at our pool practices plus swim multiple open water workouts weekly-congratulations to both of them-they are hard to keep up with!!