The Maui Channel Swim, a top 100 open water swim is held annually on Saturday of Labor Day weekend. It is the longest open water relay swim race in the world, dating back to 1972. Ian Emberson, a Kauai resident and founding Ironman swimmer, has been coordinating the race for nearly 40 years, along with his wife Coco.  The channel swim starts at "Club Lanai", on the island of Lanai, and crosses the Au Au Channel to Black Rock at the Kaanapali Beach Resort on the island of Maui. The distance between start and finish as "the bird flies" is approximately 9.6 miles. This channel is clear, warm, beautiful, open water notorious for its swift currents. Some years dolphins have graced the swimmers by encircling the race clear across the channel.

The relay race is timed and there are six swimmers per team (unless registered as a solo swimmer). At the start of the race, each swimmer swims a thirty minute leg until all team members have raced. Then each swimmer swims ten minute legs until they cross the finish line. Every team has a dedicated escort boat. The boat captain acts as the navigator for each team. Swimmers compete in categories based on the ages and sexes of the team members. The grand prize, a large, perpetual carved koa wood Duke Bowl goes to the first team to finish. Finishers receive impressive collector Hawaiian swim towels. Each swimmer also receives a custom-designed tee shirt.

Swimmers hail from around the world including mainland US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan and Canada. Experience ranges from former and prospective Olympians to recreational swimmers of all ages. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel is the site of the Maui Channel Swim headquarters where swimmers can check in to receive their packets, attend the safety/orientation meeting held the evening before the race, and is the site of the awards banquet. It is also a great spot to hang and watch the gorgeous sunsets! The Maui Channel Swim is family run and so much fun that many of the teams come back year after year and enlist friends and fellow swimmers. There is always a great rivalry between the Australian and American teams. What makes this race so interesting is that the navigation and currents can be a deciding factor. The fastest, strongest team does not always finish first!

The 2023 Lahaina Fires affected many, including beloved MCS escort boat captains, Maui swimmers, hotel and event staff and crews. While MCS 2023 was cancelled, many generous swimmers donated their registration fees to aid fire victims. We are thrilled to share the donations went to the Lahaina Swim Club enabling their young swimmers to compete over the past year. We are so excited to welcome the LSC team who will compete in MCS this year. Wonderful to give back to the community who has hosted the Maui Channel Swim for the past 50 years! Thank you for your generosity!

  • Friday, August 30th 4:30 PM- Pre-race meet and greet and safety meeting
  • Saturday, August 31st 7-2PM The race (Starting point Lanai, race start 8AM)
  • Saturday, August 31st 6PM- Banquet and Awards Ceremony


The pre-race meeting and banquet are to be held at the Outrigger Ka’anapali Beach Hotel

Registration Fees and Instructions

Register Now! Fees go up after July 28th

  • Individual Swimmers (on a team)- $380 ($420 after July 28th)
  • Team Registration (6 swimmers)- $2280
  • Solo Swimmer- $1500 ($1550 after July 28th)
  • Lahaina swimmers 50% discount (email [email protected])

Step 1- Enter swimmer name 

Step 2- Either "Join a Team" or "Create a team". I f you are not on a team, join "Add On Team" in the drop down list.

Step 3- Complete registration fields

Step 4- Read and Sign Rules and Regulations

Step 5- Read and Sign Waiver

Step 6- If Escort Boat information is available, complete related fields. Contact Ian (808) 652-4740 for assistance if need to find a boat.

Note: Registration includes free T-shirt and Banquet ticket. Additional shirts and banquet tickets can be purchased separately.

Swimmer /Participant Information

Join or create a team?

A signed waiver by event participant or parent/guardian will be required before you can download your QR code. A link to obtain waivers for all registrants will be shown on the confirmation page.

Escort Boat Info

Escort Boat and Boat Captain Information:

 Each team is required to arrange an escort boat.  Boat Charter information can be found here. Boats must have a boat captain who must receive event training and comply with race safety rules. 

Once arranged, complete the information below. For assistance in arranging an escort boat, contact Ian Emberson @1-808-652-4740

This document is required to be executed in advance of the race for a team to be allowed to compete in the Maui Channel Swim. The Team's Captain 's signature is required and indicates that they have reviewed and understand the information and rules contained herein, in the entry instructions and/or discussed with you by the team captain and that you agree to comply with all race rules and regulations. You will be expected to attend the Saturday night meeting at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel for final review and questions.

Guest Banquet Ticket

  • Banquet Ticket

    Banquet Ticket

    Fanily and friends welcomed to attend the banquet.

    $120.00 ea.


Billing Information

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
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