Hawaii Hall of Fame
Robin Isayama Liszewski

Accomplishments First Woman to Cross the Kaiwi Channel
Swimming over 35 miles solo for more than 15 hours from 1:30 in the morning to past 5:00 in the afternoon after training for over a year and becoming the first woman to do it is no minor accomplishment. In 1994 Robin Isayama did it.
  Completing the swim was as much a feeling of relief as one of achievement. Robin had to commit to a full year of training; a typical week involved 6 days of swimming, one session in the morning, one in the evening, in the pool or the ocean, often reaching 10 miles a day and over 50 miles a week. To complicate matters, Robin had to time the crossing exactly so that tides, winds, currents and other ocean conditions were perfect at the same time. This meant there was no definite target date, so she had to keep training not knowing if the swim would be tomorrow or three months from now. It was as much a mental exercise as physical.
Although the channel is 26 miles across at its closest points, Robin probably swam close to 35 miles because of the currents that day. She started at Laau Point on Molokai. She finished at Sandy Beach on Oahu. She battled Portuguese men-o-war, darkness, seasickness, fears about sharks, and a sore left arm, but finished strong to a large crowd on the beach.
 ___________________________ Robin is an unlikely swimming legend. According to her biographic profile on the HawaiiSwimForum website (written by herself), "A breastroker during her competitive swimming days, Robin built her swimming prowess in an entirely unconventional manner. Robin developed her supreme lung capacity by hiding from coach Steve Borowski under the bulkhead during Punahou School workouts, and she enhanced her overall fitness level by combining running in her swim workouts by running to Seven Eleven in her suit and cap to get blow-pops while coach Brain Lee, then of Aulea, thought she was in the bathroom."___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________
  • Auau Channel, 1993, Lanai to Maui
  • Kaiwi Channel, 1994, Molokai to Oahu, solo, First woman
  • Punahou School, class of 1986
  • University of San Diego
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