Swimmers endure tough conditions for the Waikiki Roughwater swim


IT IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT SWIM RACES IN THE STATE… THE WATER SWIM. TODAY’S CONDITIONS MADE IT EVEN TOUGHER… LAUREN DAY TELLS US WHY OCEAN SAFETY OFFICIALS WERE KEPT BUSY. LAUREN? BRIGETTE.. BELIEVE IT OR NOT… TODAY’S WAIKIKI ROUGH WATER SWIM WAS EVEN “ROUGHER” THAN USUAL. TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA JUST HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS… ABOUT 350 PEOPLE NEEDED HELP GETTING BACK SAFELY TO SHORE. NATS: OCEAN/WAVE CRASHING SOUND IT’S CALLED THE WAIKIKI ROUGH NATS: CHEERING JOHN, SCHWENGER, PARTICIPANT: “IT WAS TOUGH. IT WAS TOUGH. YEAH I FELT LIKE I WAS SWIMMING IN PLACE FOR A HALF HOUR.” MONDAY’S CONDITIONS WERE AN EXTREME CHALLENGE FOR FIRST TIME RACE PARTICIPANT JOHN SCHWENGER. JOHN, SCHWENGER, PARTICIPANT: “I THOUGHT I COULD DO IT IN AN HOUR AND I CAME IN JUST UNDER 2 HOURS.. THE CURRENT WAS PUSHING. THE CURRENT WAS REALLY PUSHIN HARD.” RACE OFFICIALS ALERTED SWIMMERS AHEAD OF THE 2.4 MILE OPEN WATER RACE. KAIA HEDLUND PRESIDENT AND RACE DIRECTOR: “WE WARNED EVERYBODY IN THE BEGINNING THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE A REALLY BAD DAY AND IF YOU’RE NOT READY NOT TRAINED DON’T SWIM.” ACCORDING TO OCEAN SAFETY OFFICIALS, OF THE ONE-THOUSAND SWIMMERS NEEDED HELP GETTING TO SHORE. KAIA HEDLUND PRESIDENT AND RACE DIRECTOR: “WE DO HAVE ABOUT 100 PEOPLE DOING WATER SAFETY OUT THERE AND PROFESSIONAL LIFEGUARDS, WE ALSO HAVE OUTRIGGER CANOE CLUB OUT THERE AND THEY’RE PULLING PEOPLE OUT ON THE BEACH FOR SURE.” EVEN EXPERIENCED, TRAINED SWIMMERS HAD A TOUGH TIME. ALEX KOSTICH, PARTICIPANT: “IT FOR 27 YRS AND THIS WAS PROBABLY IN THE TOP 3 OF MOST CHALLENGING COURSES THAT WE’VE HAD.” NATS: OCEAN SOUNDS ALEX KOSTICH, PARTICIPANT: “IT’S ALWAYS UNPREDICTABLE. BUT THE CURRENTS WERE NOT FAVORABLE. WE WERE SWIMMING INTO THE CURRENT FOR MAJORITY OF THE RACE.” AND DESPITE THE DIFFICULT DAY… JOHN, SCHWENGER, PARTICIPANT: “IT’S BEEN ON MY BUCKET LIST AND THIS GUY SAID HE WAS DOING IT AND HE WAS MY GOD SON SO I SAID WELL IF YOU’RE DOING IT I’M DOING IT.” AND NOW THAT HE’S DONE IT… SCHWENGER IS FEELING ACCOMPLISHED. THE WAIKIKI ROUGHWATER SWIM IS DEFINITELY NOT MEANT FOR BEGINNERS. IT WAS THE ORIGINAL SWIM LEG FOR THE IRON-MAN. BRIGETTE… BACK TO YOU.

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