Saturday, February 23rd: The 2019 Rottnest Channel Swim

Saturday, February 23rd: The 2019 Rottnest Channel Swim

Courtesy of Joely Bouckaert, Rottnest Channel Swim, Western Australia.

The Rottnest Channel Swim is one of the world’s iconic ocean swims. At 19.7 km from Cottesloe Beach on the western Australian mainland to Thomson Bay on Rottnest Island solo and relay ocean swim is held in Western Australia every February.

The event categories for competitors include (1) Solo, (2) Duo or teams of 2, (3) Teams of 4, and (4) Lavan Legal Charity Challenge – teams of 4.

Due to the popularity of the event, the organizers offer a Ballot System for first-in, first-served registration. Joely Bouckaert explains, “Solo swimmers register within the first registration period which will run for one week only. Solos who successfully register within this period are guaranteed entry into the event. Solos will secure their spot during the registration by paying the registration fee as well as updating their qualifying swim information.

Teams and duos register in the second registration window. We recommend each team and duo nominate a team captain so they will be able to create a registration for the team or duo by making a full registration payment during the registration window in order for the team to be successful. Once the duo or team has been created, swimmers from your crew will be able to register themselves and join your team after all duo and team spots are sold out. This is will be announced on Facebook, Twitter and on our website.

The Rottnest Channel Swim website has information on how to qualify to swim and information on when to register

Entry fees for the 2019 Rottnest Channel Swim are $375.00 + booking fee for solo swimmers, $620.00 + booking fee for duos, $1,125.00 + booking fee for teams. The age categories include Duo (28+, 50+, 75+, 100+) and Team (56+, 100+, 150+, 200+).

Solo swimmers must have either completed a Rottnest Channel Swim solo crossing during the previous two years or completed a 10 km qualifying swim between November 1st 2018 and February 1st 2019.

Bouckaert explains about the swimsuit rules, “No swimmer shall use or be assisted by artificial aids of any manner. Swimmers are permitted to grease the body before a swim, use goggles, wear a maximum of two swim caps with the official cap on the outer that must be worn at all times while in the water, nose clip and ear plugs.

Swimmers must wear one bathing suit for modesty and can wear two suits so long as one suit comprises only briefs (men and women) or a bikini (women) that does not contain neoprene, rubber or any other material that aids buoyancy and complies with FINA’s Rules for Open Water Swimming. In addition to one bathing suit that complies with this rule, swimmers may wear one rash vest or stinger suit made of porous textile material (such as nylon or lycra), which does not extend beyond the ankles, the neck or the wrist

The sight of hundreds of escort boats stretched across the horizon is a sight to behold. Solo swimmers require escort boats that are a minimum of 5 meters in length. Duo and team swimmers require a support boat that is a minimum of 6 meters in length. It is highly recommended but not compulsory, that paddle craft be used to assist the swimmer/s and skipper on the day. Boats must be equipped with all the mandatory emergency marine equipment.

The Lavan Legal Charity Challenge is an exclusive category for 30 teams of four who wish to fundraise for the charity of their choice by competing for the Lavan legal Charity Challenge Cup.

Champions of the Channel is an elite wave of invited soloist who must express their interest by emailing the Rottnest Channel Swim. Swimmers are expected to qualify with a 10 km qualifying time of 1 hour 58 minutes for males and 2 hours 8 minutes for females.

Solo Records:
First Male Crossing: 1956 in 9:45:00 by Gerd von Dincklage-Schulenburg
First Female Crossing: 1969 in 9:35:00 by Lesley Meaney (née Cherriman)
First Male Double Crossing: 1991 in 14:08:05 by Peter Tanham
First Female Double Crossing: 1994 in 12:06:12 by Barbara Pellick
First Male Triple Crossing: 2013 in 18:48:00 by Rohan Hollick
First Female Triple Crossing: 2013 in 18:48:00 by Ceinwen Roberts
Fastest Male: 2018 in 3:59:28 by Solomon Wright
Fastest Female: 1993 in 4:10:03 by Tamara Bruce (Natural Jetty) / 2018 in 4:21:55 by Heidi Gan (Thomson Bay)
First Backstroke Crossing: 2005 in 7:22:20 by Hamish Osborne
First Breaststroke Crossing: 2001 in 9:29:37 by Ian Wallace
First Butterfly Crossing: 2018 in 7:20:28 by Eli Ball
Oldest Male: 2013 in 8:27:40 by Dieter Loeliger (80.00 years)
Oldest Female: 2014 in 8:18:20 by Irene Keel (73.39 years)
Youngest Male: 1994 in 5:49:56 by V Kutraleeshwaran (13.08 years)
Youngest Male (under current rules): 2016 in 6:07:52 by Luke Smoothy (14.00 years)
Youngest Female: 1995 in 6:14:58 by Chhavimadan (12.42 years)
Youngest Female (under current rules): 2015 in 9:40:31 by Olivia Williams (14.08 years)
Most Crossings by Peter Tanham (30 times)
Most Crossings Female by Barbara Pellick (29 times)

For more information on the Rottnest Channel Swim, visit here.

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Steven Munatones