Oceans Seven 

Make it count with the Hawaiian Channel Swimming Association

The Hawaiian Channel Swimming Association (HCSA) provides official ratification for successful Kaiwi (Molokaʻi) Channel crossings for the purposes of Oceans Seven completion and is recognized by The World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) and the Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF).  To date, HCSA has ratified more Kaiwi Channel crossings than any other organization on the planet (see below for the history of Kaiwi Channel crossing ratifications).  HCSA maintains that it will share information with other local channel associations and display the results for the purpose of accuracy and completeness.

Swimmers attempting a Kaiwi Channel crossing do not need to obtain permission from HCSA or any other entity prior to their swim.  Swimmers who successfully complete a Kaiwi Channel crossing do not need to pay any fees to HCSA for ratification of their swim once appropriate documentation is received and all guidelines and rules have been clearly followed.  Basically- a swimmer can hire their own crew and boat to conduct their swim.  This is intended to reduce entry barriers and costs and preserve a swimmer's ability to explore, enjoy, and tackle difficult swims in the beautiful waters of Hawaiʻi.  Swimmers may find that hiring a local fee-for-service channel association may be their best option if they are visiting from other regions and/or they do not have ties to local captains and crews.  Email hichannelswim@gmail.com for more information.

"Steve's Picks" 2024 Season Kaiwi Channel Swim Windows

Each summer Steven Minaglia (HCSA's Recorder/Honorary Secretary) suggests optimal Kaiwi Channel swim windows based on experience and current science.

Early morning departure advised*

March 15-19

April 13-17

May 13-17

June 12-16

July 11-15

August 11-15

September 9-13

October 8-12

November 7-11

*For more information on how to reduce the likelihood of cookiecutter shark interaction read the recently published, peer-reviewed study.

**The above referenced study has now been discussed on Hawaiʻi Public Radio:

Moonless night sky increases Isistius species (cookiecutter shark) and live human contactThe nocturnal feeding behavior and zoogeographical habitat of cookiecutter sharks Isistius brasiliensis and Isistius plutodus (Isistius spp.) greatly reduces interaction of this species with live humans. Attacks on live humans are exceedingly rare with 7 cases reported worldwide, 6 of them in Hawaiʻi, and 5 of these occuring among channel swimmers. Published research suggests that periods of bright moonlight may increase Isistius spp. contact with live humans and does not otherwise identify significant trends or risk factors. Yet 5 of the 6 Isistius spp. bites on live humans in Hawaiʻian waters occurred with the moon set and after nautical twilight end and before nautical twilight start. From 1961–2023 in Hawaiʻi, 129 successful solo channel crosses and 5 Isistius spp. related injuries in the habitat of cookiecutter sharks were analyzed across two groups: one where both the moon and sun were set (dark group) and one where the moon and/or sun was in the sky (light group). There was a significant difference for swimmers bitten by Isistius spp. in the dark 4 (12%) versus light groups 1 (1%), p = 0.012, RR 12.6 (95% confidence interval: 1.5–108.9). Swim start time and year was also significant (Pearson correlation 0.566, p <0.001). Swimmer gender and use of shark deterrent devices and artificial illumination were not significant. The growing popularity of channel swimming in Hawaiʻi and swim start times have contributed to an increasing likelihood of live human and Isistius spp. contact and a moonless night sky is a significant risk factor for this interaction.

Evening departure reasonable- partial overlap with box jellyfish window (late swim window)**

March 1-5

March 30-April 3

April 29-May 3

May 28-June 1

June 26-30

July 25-29

August 25-29

September 22-26

October 22-26

**For more information on how to reduce the likelihood of box jellyfish interaction and to possibly reduce impact visit the adjacent webpage.

Kaiwi Channel Crossing Records Recognized By HCSA:

Attila Manyoki, Molokaʻi to Oʻahu, 12:02 in 2015

Dr. Harry Huffaker, Oʻahu to Molokaʻi, 16:15 in 1972

History of Kaiwi Channel ratification

Prior to 1984, there were not many inter-island channel swims. These few swims were substantiated with local newspaper articles, conversations and recollections with other swimmers and escorts.  The HCSA was established in 1984 to recognize individuals who have successfully swum across the 9 major inter-island channels of the Hawaiʻian Islands, including the Kaiwi Channel.  

After Kaiwi Channel was added to Oceans Seven a few changes occurred.  Channel swimmer Linda Kaiser graciously began assisting Kaiwi Channel swimmers with boat captain and crew introductions.  During this phase, swimmers continued to work directly with captains and crew who ratified swims by ensuring that HCSA rules were strictly followed and by transmitting certifications to HCSA, WOWSA, and MSF.  Upon Linda's passing in 2018, channel swimmer Bill Goding graciously picked up where Linda left off and formalized the Moloka'i Channel Swimmers Association (MCSA).  A few local captains also began advertising their services directly to swimmers.  Ratifications were shared among captains, HCSA and MCSA.

The Kaiwi Channel Association (KCA) was later formed in 2013.  This fee-for-service organization, originally run by Jeff Koslovich and Steve Haumschild, provided swimmers one-stop shopping for coordination of swim windows, logistics, crew, captain, and swim ratification for a fee independent of boat captain and crew costs.  KCA has collected fees and ratified a handful of swims to date and in January 2024 was acquired by the Kaiwi Crossings Association headed by Bill Goding.  Since 2013, successful swims were listed on HCSA, KCA, and MCSA websites regardless of how they were conducted for the purpose of accuracy and completeness.  A clear majority of these swims occurred with swimmers contacting pilots directly, the pilots and crew ratifying the swims, and the data then shared with these associations.  An example of this mechanism of ratification can be found at:


In 2024, certification of successful Kaiwi crosses will continue to be ratified by pilots and crew and posted on the HCSA, KCA and MCSA websites as well this data will be shared with WOWSA and MSF.  Swimmers have the option of reaching out directly to pilots and crews for conducting their swims or using a fee-for-service association such as KCA.

The Hawaiian Channel Swimming Association (HCSA)

Established 1984