TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2016. The Daily News of Open Water Swimming
Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González was expecting a 16-hour crossing of the Molokai Channel today.
But he faced some big seas and massive swells along the way.
The 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year certainly showed his grit in completing his fifth Oceans Seven (Siete Mares) channel (after crossings of the English Channel (twice), Catalina Channel (twice), Strait of Gibraltar and the Tsugaru Channel).
With confidence in his crew of Nora Toledano, Steve Haumschild, Jeff Kozlovich and [pilot] Mike Twigg-Smith, Argüelles started on Molokai Island at 3 am.
It ended up being the longest day of his life.
23 hours 18 minutes across the Channel of Bones, he walked triumphantly, albeit slowly, onto the shore of the island of Oahu.
"[Paddlers] Steve and Jeff were great guys. It was a day full with local varieties: waves, winds, currents and many jellyfish stings," the 56-year-old Mexican described. "My goal was around 16 hours. I thought of quitting because it was getting complicated with waves and currents. But just the thought of having start all over again prevented me of doing so."
The triathlete and channel swimmer had faced a lot of challenges over his prolific career, so he knew what a success depended upon. "It is not enough to be a good swimmer, you have to be tough mentally."
Today, Argüelles showed his stuff, both mentally and physically. He joined a select group of athletes who have successfully completed at least five of the Oceans Seven channels:
Seven Oceans Seven Channels
* Stephen Redmond (Ireland)
* Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden)
* Michelle Macy (USA)
* Darren Miller (USA)
* Adam Walker (UK)
* Kimberly Chambers (New Zealand)
Six Oceans Seven Channels
* Penny Palfrey (Australia)
Five Oceans Seven Channels
* Forrest Nelson (USA)
* Craig Lenning (USA)
* David Yudovin (USA)
* Rohans More (India)
* Antonio Argüelles (Mexico)