Australian teen to make record attempt at Kaiwi channel crossing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Australian teen to make record attempt at Kaiwi channel crossing

Cameron Keith Cameron Keith
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

On Tuesday morning, beginning at 3 a.m., 15-year-old Cameron Keith from Cairns, Australia will attempt to become the youngest person ever to swim the Ka'iwi Channel.

"This goal came to me about it a year and a half ago, and we've just been working towards it ever since then" he said during a conversation in Waikiki.

Keith, who will celebrate his 16th birthday in October is affable, well spoken, and bristling with confidence. He also has an unbridled love of adventure. A competitive swimmer for eight years, he left the pool behind for open water competition for that very reason.

"Instead of just looking at the blue or black line every day, you swim over reef, swim over all this marine life. It's absolutely beautiful".

He'll have twelve to fourteen hours – if all goes well – to admire that beauty and dodge the dangers of a perilous swim. However, the risk seems to glide off him.

"I wouldn't be doing it if I knew I wasn't safe. I've got all the crew behind me. I've got all the confidence that I'll be safe”.

A conversation with him leaves one to wonder where the wellspring of confidence comes from. Perhaps it's the exuberance of youth. More likely, it's from the ability to overcome challenges. Cameron was born blind in the left eye. He's learned to overcome it, so much so that he practically shrugs it off.

"Maybe just basic abilities like catching a ball for instance. Apart from that it's more of a ‘keep me going'".

Most would say he'll need that motivation during the grueling 26-mile swim, but for Cameron, it will just be another adventure.

He plans to arrive at Sandy Beach in East O'ahu sometime in the afternoon.

You can track his progress live at tiny.cc/ckswim

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