The swim across the Maui Channel to raise funds for a dedicated rehabilitation unit for the critically-endangered Hawaiian monk seal has raised $18,130, according to Cheryl Reiss of the Marine Mammal Center.
The all-female team of six from the Center joined 52 other teams and 20 solo swimmers from around the world in a daring crossing of the Au Au channel, the MMC reported in a post-race statement. The channel is well known for dangers to swimmers such as swift currents, tiger sharks, and the Portuguese Man O’ War.
The first Maui Channel Swim took place in 1972 and since then, it has grown to become the longest open water relay swim in the world.
The MMC swim team “endured the roughest race conditions in 17 years,’ said Reiss, ’10 foot swells, 30 mph winds, and 12 foot tiger shark sightings that caused some teams to quit. The team finished the race in an impressive 7:30:09.’
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