Saturday, 06 June 2020


The cancer support fundraising swim of two Mad KOWS and two Mad HOWS

Two Mad KOWS (Kuaotunu Open Water Swimmers) and two Mad HOWS (Hahei Open Water Swimmers) are planning to swim the third and fourth legs of an ocean swim from Whangapoua around the top of the Coromandel Peninsula to Coromandel Town this coming Saturday and Sunday (Saturday and Sunday 24 March).

The four swimmers - Dan Asquith (Kuaotunu), Nicole Cosandey (Kuaotunu), Thom Dodd (Hahei) and John Goldsman (Hot Water Beach) - are undertaking the swim to raise money for cancer support in Mercury Bay. They completed the first leg of the 110km journey, a swim of just under 10km from Whangapoua to Tuateawa, on Monday 18 February. The 7.3km second leg from Tuateawa to Little Bay was completed on Sunday 10 March.

The journey is made up of approximately 12 legs.

“We have to fit the swim in between our work and personal commitments,” says Thom. “This coming weekend is going to be big. On Saturday we’ll be swimming from Little Bay to a remote beach approximately 10km up the coast, where we’ll overnight. The beach is inaccessible by land. On Sunday we’ll do another approximately 10km to Stony Bay. All is of course dependent on favourable weather and sea conditions.

“It’s going to be an epic two days and a lot of fun.”

Kayaker Florent Lahargou escorted the four swimmers during the first two legs of the journey. They were also escorted by Kuaotunu resident, Graeme Osborne, in a motorboat during the first leg and Peter Murphy from Matarangi did the same during the second leg. “We need kayaks and motorboats to accompany us with each leg of the swim,” says Thom. “They’re our safety link. People must please be in touch of they can help out. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be involved in something really special and also to see the stunning Coromandel coastline form a different perspective.”

The four swimmers are passionate about open water swimming. In 2014, they were all part of a larger ocean swim from Hot Water Beach to New Chums Beach that raised funds for the x-ray facility in Whitianga.

For Nicole, the swim from Whangapoua to Coromandel Town has special meaning. She’s a cancer survivor and by participating in the journey she wants to motivate others that there’s life after cancer, that they should make the most of the opportunities coming their way.

The Mad KOWS and the Mad HOWS have about 20 members each who regularly swim together.

“We have a lot of things to juggle to make sure we can schedule enough time for the four of us to get to Coromandel Town,” says Thom. “But we’re very motivated. It’s fair to say that we’re seriously going for it. We hope to complete the last leg of the swim in early May.”

The Informer will publish advance notice of upcoming legs of the swim. If you can accompany the swimmers in a kayak or a motorboat on any of the legs, please phone Thom on (07) 866 3023. Donations in support of the swimmers’ fundraising cause can be donated into a BNZ bank account that has been opened in the name of “Swim Fundraiser,” account number 02-0496-0095153-025.

Pictured: The four Mad KOWS and Mad Hows participating in a fundraising swim from Whangapoua to Coromandel Town. From the left - Dan Asquith, Thom Dodd, John Goldsman and Nicole Cosandey. In the background is kayaker Florent Lahargou who escorted them during the first two legs of the journey.


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