49-year-old musician, City Council member, and world class marathon swimmer will brave tough currents to complete the fifth trek of her "Ocean's 7" swims
CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Charleston, South Carolina's City Council member and symphony harpist, Kathleen Wilson and her U.S. crew of two will fly to New Zealand February 27 with high hopes to receive the go-ahead to swim the Cook Strait. The only "if "is weather conditions.
Wilson, 49, has become a marathon swimming luminary by completing many of the world's most prestigious and difficult swims, including four of the seven swims labeled, the "Ocean's 7." She has bested the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Europe from Africa, the Catalina Channel off the coast of California, and the Molokai Channel in Hawaii. Cook Strait will be number five. Remaining are the Irish Channel and the Tsugaru Strait in Japan.
Cook Strait has been completed in the range from 4.5 to 20 hours. Referring to her training, Wilson says, "The engine is there. The biggest variable is ever-changing weather patterns which can jeopardize a swim. Animals in the water? I get my head in gear to deal with their neighborhood." She trains in Charleston Harbor, which is 53 degrees. "I don't like cold, but it's good preparation."
With an email address like "aquaharp" one could surmise her two loves. But, in Wilson's case, there are three. The third is teaching swimming to adults who are afraid in water: Miracle Swimming. Her love for open water swimming propels her swims, but her equivalent goal is attracting the attention of the non-swimming public to say, "With Miracle Swimming, yes, you can learn to swim." According to a 1998 Gallup Poll, 46% of American adults are afraid in deep water, meaning that they cannot swim. Wilson, licensed in Miracle Swimming's innovative system, gets as much joy teaching afraid adults to swim as completing an open water marathon. "If I can bring one more adult into swimming with my swimming, it's worth it."
21st Century Swimming Lessons/Miracle Swimming is Wilson's sponsor for the Cook Strait swim. Frequent flyer miles donations are being accepted for her crew for her next challenge, to be decided.