Kaiwi Swim Challenge

BOCA athletes are always looking for challenges to push past their limits. Triathlons are a favorite of many, but sometimes we choose to focus on a single discipline. The Waikiki Rough Water Swim, for example, has been a popular event, but what if we multiply it by ten…”just for fun!”

In August, on a to-be-decided date, according to ocean tides and currents, Stefan Reinke, Ryan Leong, and Timothy Marr will attempt to swim the Kaiwi Channel, a 26-mile open-water swim from Molokai to Oahu’s East side, with no outside swim assistance. Since 1961, only 45+ swimmers have completed the crossing solo. These like-minded BOCA go-getters will have an escort boat and will be provided nutrition stops to take in calories during the crossing, but they must remain in the water the entire time—no getting in or holding on to any vessels. Practice swims unite and prepare these athletes, and they recently successfully completed a 12-mile swim from Maunalua Bay to Kaimana Beach.

Photo credit: Miki David

Due to strong currents, the originally estimated five-hour trek lasted eight hours. These committed performers are not deterred. With Chris Gardner and Bill Goding as the support crew, the formula for success is in their favor. A lot depends on conditions on the given day, and there is more training ahead, but when the August date is announced, these competitors will rise to the challenge.

Like skilled BOCA warriors, they will swim with passion.


  • August: 1st attempt aborted due to a large tiger shark circling swimmers for 45 minutes.
  • September 4: Successful 2nd attempt! Swimmers finished the crossing in 19 hours and 33 minutes. Congratulations, Stefan Reinke and Ryan Leong!