Breaking Records, Olympic Champions and a Pop Star: Highlights from the 2023 Rottnest Channel Swim

Breaking Records, Olympic Champions and a Pop Star: Highlights from the 2023 Rottnest Channel Swim

The 2023 Rottnest Channel Swim proved to be an exciting and record-breaking event with almost 2,600 participants from around the world. This iconic 19.7km open water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island has been held annually since 1991 and attracts swimmers of all abilities, from elite athletes to recreational swimmers. This year’s competition saw records broken in various categories, including male and female solo, as well as the team’s category, with a “superteam” consisting of Olympic champion Mack Horton, pop star Cody Simpson, and other Australian swimming team members, shattering the team record by over three minutes. Let’s dive deeper into the highlights of this year’s Rottnest Channel Swim.

Bailey Armstrong

From “A clean sweep of records at 2023 Rottnest Channel Swim” by OceanSwim

“One of the standout performances of the day came from Bailey Armstrong from Queensland, who took out the male solo category in a record time of three hours, 48 minutes and 11 seconds. This time smashed the previous record of three hours, 59 minutes and 28 seconds held by Solomon Wright by more than 11 minutes. Mr Armstrong was closely followed by Kyle Lee, who came in second place with a time of three hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds. Byron Kimber and Max Coten finished in third and fourth place, respectively, with times of three hours, 54 minutes and 12 seconds, and three hours, 57 minutes and 39 seconds.” All four of these swimmers broke the previous record, which is a testament to the high level of competition at this year’s event.

In the female solo category, Chloe Truscott put in another record-breaking performance, completing the swim in a time of four hours, 14 minutes and 31 seconds. This time broke the previous record of four hours, 21 minutes, 55 seconds held by Heidi Gan. Ms Truscott narrowly missed the overall record-holder Tamara Bruce’s 1993 time at the natural jetty of four hours, 10 minutes and three seconds. Her performance was nonetheless impressive and demonstrated the strength and determination of female open water swimmers.

The team’s category was dominated by a “superteam” consisting of Mack Horton, Bowen Gough, Josh Edwards-Smith, and Cody Simpson. This quartet completed the swim in a remarkable time of three hours, 33 minutes and 49 seconds, smashing the previous record by more than three minutes. This was a truly incredible achievement, and the team credited their success to their strong teamwork and the support of their skippers, paddlers, and boat crew.

The team members all spoke highly of their experience at the event, with Cody Simpson describing it as “one of the coolest experiences of my life.” He added that “prior to this swim, we had minimal open water swimming experience, so we couldn’t have done it without an incredible team of skippers, paddlers, and boat crew to keep our strategy and changeover tight.”

Mack Horton, who has previously completed the iconic Lorne Pier to Pub swim three times, was left with the longest stints in the water, thanks to his long-distance background. He said that “the whole swim was great fun,” and that he had to do longer stints in the water because of his background with longer distance events in the pool, like the 1500m.

Overall, the 2023 Rottnest Channel Swim was a huge success, with many records being broken and some truly outstanding performances from the world’s best open water swimmers.

After Event Glitch

From the Daily Mail article

After the 19km South32 Rottnest Channel Swim in Perth, organizers apologized for tracking participants’ locations via the event’s app for an additional four days, with screenshots of a live image of real-time locations posted to social media, but only those who had voluntarily signed up to being tracked were exposed in the privacy breach.