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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 25, 2010

Couple out to bust swimming records

 •  Into the deep blue

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Penny Palfrey started swimming from O'ahu to Kaua'i yesterday as her husband swam from Moloka'i to O'ahu.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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On a day when his wife set out to rewrite swimming history, Chris Palfrey contributed a chapter of his own by setting what is believed to be a record for swimming across the Ka'iwi Channel.

Palfrey completed the 26-mile swim from Moloka'i to O'ahu yesterday in 12 hours, 53 minutes and 15 seconds, some 20 minutes faster than the existing record set in the 1970s.

Palfrey left Moloka'i at 4:04 a.m. and arrived on shore on O'ahu just before 5 p.m., according to his coach, Quinn Carver.

Palfrey is the 12th person to successfully swim across the channel. He was accompanied by a boat captained by James Dickson and kayaker Cody Bares.

Palfrey's wife, Penny, a 47-year-old grandmother, is attempting an even more ambitious feat.

At the same time her husband left La'au Point on Moloka'i yesterday morning, Penny Palfrey embarked on a 72-mile swim from Ka'ena Point to Kaua'i.

Palfrey is expected to take about 30 to 40 hours to swim across the channel from O'ahu to Kaua'i. If she's successful, she will earn the distinction of being the longest, unaided, nonstop swimmer in the open ocean in history, according to press updates from her support team.

She is being guided by a paddle boarder, a lifeguard and an emergency medical technician, Jeff Kozlovich, who is raising money for the Blue Planet Run Foundation, and an escort boat.

Hourly updates will be posted at www.kozhawaii.com as long as the support boat has cell phone service.