Friday, 05 June 2020


Another two legs closer for the Mad KOWS and HOWS

On Sunday 14 April, two Mad KOWS (Kuaotunu Open Water Swimmers) and two HOWS (Hahei Open Water Swimmers) completed their fifth swim to raise money for cancer support in Mercury Bay. They have between nine and 10 swims (from Whangapoua around the top of the Coromandel Peninsula to Coromandel Town) planned in total.

The swimmers - Dan Asquith and Nicole Cossandey (Mad KOWS), and John Goldsman and Thom Dodd (HOWS) - swam on 14 April from Stony Bay to Port Jackson.

The conditions at the start of the swim at 6:00am were ideal with spectacularly calm seas and barely a breath of wind. A straight line was swum to the stunning Pinnacles rock formations off the coast just before Fletcher Bay. The water was clear, the kelp was thriving and the swimmers saw an abundance of fish.

From the Pinnacles to the headland beyond Fletcher Bay, the tide pushed the swimmers quite a way out from shore for another 3km. From the headland onward, the wind picked up. The west side of the Coromandel gets the full brunt of the wind that the east side is sheltered from and when it opposes the incoming tide, it causes rougher conditions.

The swimmers calculated that the first 6km took them two and a half hours and the next 6km another three and a half hours. By the time the bay at Port Jackson was reached, the wind was really churning up the water, so it took some effort to make it to the sand. Everyone was very relieved to hit solid ground.

It was a real milestone for the swimmers to make it around the top of the Peninsula, as that particular stretch of water can be difficult to navigate.

The four swimmers completed their sixth swim on Easter Monday this week (22 April). This leg saw them swim from Port Jackson to Fantail Bay.

The swimmers would like to say a huge thank you to their support crew on 14 April who generously donated a day and dedicated themselves and their considerable expertise to getting the swimmers safely through the notorious Colville Channel around the top of the Coromandel.  

The swimmers would like to thank kayakers, Wally Gilmer and Lisa Kearney for accompanying them. They have lent kayak support to various multisport and swim events over the years, so were well equipped for the job.

The swimmers would also like to thank their two boat crews - made up of Leith and Shane Simpson, and Phil Rogers and Anna Hammond. They supported the swimmers patiently the entire way - with Leith and Phil (who are both part of the Mad KOWS) even taking turns to swim 6km of the leg from Stony Bay to Port Jackson.

Donations that have already been made to cancer support in Mercury Bay are greatly appreciated. If you would like to support the cause, you can donate to the “Swim Fundraiser” account with BNZ, account number 02-0496-0095153-025.

Pictured: Three of the swimmer who are at the moment fundraising for cancer support in Mercury Bay during their swim on Sunday 14 April from Stony Bay to Port Jackson. From left to right - Nicole Cosandey, Thom Dodd and John Goldsman.


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