Hawaii 24/7 Staff
A Kealakehe WaveRider became the youngest person ever to complete the swim across Kaiwi Channel when she landed Sunday afternoon at Sandy Beach.
Leahi Camacho, 17, took more than 13 hours to swim the 26 miles from Molokai to Oahu.
According to an online map that was tracking her progress, Camacho left from Laau Point on Molokai and arrived at approximately 12:30 p.m. on the southwestern Oahu beach.
The teen’s father, Charlie Camacho, was providing Facebook updates during the the trip and noted she faced strong currents off Laau and later also battled jellyfish.
Later Sunday, Camacho posted the followed on her Facebook page:
“I’m such a cry baby, love all the posts and every bit of support all of you have ever given me. I have never been so thankful for fresh water, soap, and conditioner. Also I have never been so thankful for such an amazing community. Again, so sorry I couldn’t respond to all of you. But THANK YOU SO MUCH! Seriously without a good foundation I would have never been able to do this, and that good foundation is all of you. Love you guys so much. Incredible how we all come together for one person.”
According to a fundraising flyer released as the Camacho family prepared for the challenge:
“Swimming channels comes at a steep price, not only physically and mentally draining but checkbook draining as well. This is where I reach out, reach out to the community that has supported me though my 11 years of competitive swimming and ask for a big favor, to help fund me to make my way across Kaiwi Channel.”
The family used donations to help cover costs of an escort boat and kayaks, flights, food, lodging and a shark shield.
Previously, the swim had been completed by 26 people – 13 men and 13 women. Camacho now goes into the record books as the youngest.