Meredith Novack has unofficially broken the World Record in the Auau Channel Swim in Hawaii, completing the crossing in 11:01 overnight. The record will have to be certified by Hawaii Swimming to become official, but all indications are that it was a fair crossing.
The crossing is approximately 9.6 miles between the island of Lanai and the island of Maui in Hawaii, with Novack’s double swim resulting in just over 19 miles. This is also the site of a famous six-person relay swim in one direction, however Novack accomplished it on her own.
The old record belonged to Peter Attia in 11 hours and 45 minutes, but the 37-year old native Hawaiian easily bettered that mark (Attia is the only other swimmer credited with an official double crossing, which he did in 2008). She also became the first woman to ever complete the double crossing. Her pace comes out to just under 35 minutes per mile in the open ocean.
Unlike the controversy swirling around another recently famous open water swim, the one done between Cuba and Florida by Diana Nyad, this channel crossing has very clearly defined rules.
Specifically, swimmers cannot touch the boat or anything attached to the boat during the swim. That means no touching by doctors, and no feed polls, though the swimmer can receive food and drink in a bag tossed to the swimmer, with the trash then tossed back, but no direct contact made.
For a double channel crossing, “English Channel rules” are followed. On the turn:
a. Step onto land and walk above high water mark,
b. then immediately get back into water.
c. Can sit or stand in water up to 10 minutes,
d. can accept food, drink or sunscreen from escort,
e. but no one can touch the swimmer.
f. After 10 minutes max, swimmer must resume swim back to starting island.
For more pictures and videos of the crossing, visit Novack’s official Facebook page.