Pre-event FAQs

Find our FAQs here – if you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch. You can also check out our Forum to post your own question, or see what others are chatting about.

Can I change or swap swimmers?

Once you’ve registered as a duo or team, you can’t transfer your entry to another person or team.

  • If you register as a duo or team, you’ll need to make an upfront payment when you register. There are no refunds for duo and team swimmer withdrawals. 
  • Duos may rotate a maximum of one swimmer throughout the swim.
  • Teams may rotate a maximum of two swimmers throughout the swim.

Any other changes will need to be run past the RCSA for approval. You’re not allowed to transfer swimmers between solo, duo or team categories.

How do I find a support boat?

Organising a support boat can be hard, so it’s important to start organising your support boat and skipper at least six months before the event (especially if you’re coming from interstate or overseas). You need to enter your boat and skipper information when you register – this needs to be done by 31 January 2020, otherwise your entry will be forfeited.

Best ways to find a support boat:

  1. Advertise in the Forums section on our website – this works for most people.
  2. Post on the Rottnest Channel Swim Facebook Page.
  3. Check out/post in various volunteer, paddler and swimmer groups on Facebook.
  4. Ask around – word of mouth usually works well.
  5. Advertise in local newspapers, such as The Quokka.
  6. Advertise online for free on Gumtree.

What size support boat do I need?

Category
Recommended boat size
Solo
No less than 5 metres
Duo/team
No less than 6 metres

Entrants must organise their own support boat and paddle craft – no personal watercraft (such as jet skis) are permitted.

The size of the boat required is determined by two factors:

  1. The minimum size of boat that is legally permitted to travel to Rottnest Island;
  2. The number of people onboard.

For these reasons, and for comfort and sun/wind protection, the RCSA recommends the following size boats:

The RCSA will, however, allow any vessel 4.5 metres or greater that’s legally permitted to carry the whole team (including any swimmers, paddlers, and support crew). The number of people permitted is determined by either the information displayed on the Australian Builder’s Plate or (if there is no Builder’s Plate) by reference to the WA Department of Transport requirements as below:

Length of Boat
Maximum number of people aboard
4.5m to less than 5.0m
5
5.0m to less than 5.5m
6
5.5m to less than 6.0m
7

It’s the responsibility of the skipper to make sure the boat is suitable and capable of making the trip. The skipper also needs to check thoroughly that the support boat isn’t overloaded.

It’s highly recommended (but not compulsory), that a paddle craft be used to assist the swimmer/s and skipper on the day.

Boats 10 metres or more

Boats 10 metres or more must stay north or south of the fleet at all times. To get close to swimmers, a tender will be needed (tenders must have all safety equipment onboard).

Further minimum support boat guidelines include:

  • 1 x life jacket (PFD Type 1) for each person onboard – including swimmers and paddlers;
  • All skippers must be in possession of a Recreational Skippers Ticket – the ticket number needs to be provided when registering;
  • All vessels must carry an operational two-way VHF marine radio, two hand-held orange flares, and two parachute distress rocket flares;
  • All vessels must meet the WA Navigable Waters Regulations requirements for registrable vessels;
  • All vessels must be equipped with the required mandatory safety and emergency equipment as per the WA Navigable Waters Regulations;
  • All vessels must carry an anchor and line;
  • Vessels greater than 7 metres must have a bilge pump fitted.

Please note

If a boat fails to meet the minimum safety equipment requirements, the team or individual will be disqualified (DSQ).

Can I update my support boat or skipper details?

You’ll be able to update your skipper and support boat details until 5.30pm (AWST) Friday, 21 February 2020. However, you’ll have to pay extra fees to update details after 5.30pm (AWST) Wednesday, 19 February 2020, so it’s best to make sure it’s done by then.

You won’t be able to participate in the event if you haven’t registered your support boat by 5.30pm (AWST) Friday, 21 February 2020.

What kind of swimsuits can I wear?

If you’re attempting the Rottnest Channel Swim, you’re not allowed to use any artificial aids to help you. Your swimsuit must comply with FINA’s Open Water Swimming Rules. FINA provides that a complying suit:

  1. Is of a woven textile material
  2. Does not cover the neck
  3. Does not extend beyond the shoulders or ankles.

FINA rules may change from time to time. As a swimmer, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you’re compliant. Check out the FINA guidelines directly for more information.

In relation to these rules, the RCSA states that you may:

  1. Wear two suits (for modesty) so long as one suit is either briefs (men and women) or a bikini (women)
  2. Grease the body before a swim
  3. Use goggles
  4. Wear two caps (your official cap must be worn on the outside)
  5. Use a nose clip
  6. Use earplugs
  7. Wear a rash vest/stinger suit.

You may not:

  1. Wear any item with neoprene or any other buoyant material
  2. Wear anything not within the spirit of FINA’s rules or within the spirit of the RCSA exemptions.

If I don’t live in Perth, how do I complete my solo qualifying swim and attend the compulsory briefing?

Under the Event Rules, if you intend to do the swim alone you must’ve either:

  • Completed a Rottnest Channel Swim solo crossing within the previous two years, or
  • Completed a 10km qualifying swim between 1 November 2019 and 1 February 2020.

If you’re a first-time solo swimmer, or you haven’t successfully completed a solo crossing in the last two years, you need to qualify by completing a 10km time trial in 4 hours and 15 minutes between 1 November 2019 and 1 February 2020.

Have a look at qualifying swim to find out how you can complete a qualifying swim if you’re interstate or international and can’t attend the Rottnest Rehearsal (Saturday, 25 January 2020).

If you don’t live in Perth and can’t make it to the compulsory safety briefing on 1st February 2020, there’ll be a Safety Briefing you can attend. The venue and time is to be confirmed.

If you have any other questions, get in touch at query@rottnestchannelswim.com.au.

How do I know what size solo jacket to order?

If you’re a solo swimmer and successfully complete the crossing, you’ll receive an official Rottnest Channel Swim solo jacket. When you register, you’ll need to choose your jacket size as per the measurements below. Solo jackets are part of the official prize pack and as per the Terms and conditions of entry, solo swimmers who withdraw from the event, or are don’t complete the crossing won’t be entitled to receive the solo jacket.

Women’s jacket sizes:

Size
Bust
CB Length (cm)
XS (8)
49
60
S (10)
51.5
62
M (12)
54
64
L (14)
56.5
66
XL (16)
59
68
XXL (18)
61.5
70
XXXL (20)
64
72

Men’s jacket sizes:

Size
Bust
CB Length (cm)
S
57.5
70
M
60
72
L
62.5
74
XL
65
76
XXL
67.5
78
XXXL
70
80

How do I order extra t-shirts for skippers, paddlers, friends, family or cheer squad members?

You can buy extra t-shirts for support boat skippers, paddlers, or friends and family on the online registration system at the event briefing in February 2020, or on event day at the finish line. We highly recommend you order any extra t-shirts for your support crew in advance, as it’s common for some or all t-shirt sizes to be sold out.

How do I know what t-shirt size to order?

Size
Bust
CB Length (cm)
XS
51
69
S
55
72
M
58
74
L
60
76
XL
63
79
XXL
65
82
XXXL
67
85

Please note

The chest measurements are for ½ chest taken 2cm below the armholes and 1.5cm+/- variations may occur. Sizing is unchanged from previous years.

Can I enter as a solo as well, in case my duo/team is not successful in the first-in first-served system?

No, you can’t. You can only enter once and in one category only. If you submit more than one entry, you’ll be penalised and banned from entering the Rottnest Channel Swim for two years – the current event and the next event.

What happens if the event is cancelled?

This kind of event is highly dependent on weather conditions. The Race Committee (consisting of Race Director, Chief Referee, Safety Director, DPI Representative and RCSA President) has the right to cancel the event if adverse weather conditions prevail or are likely to occur. Every swimmer or team is to obey this decision.

The race committee will only cancel the event on the morning of the event – a text will be sent out to all competitors at around 4.30am by the race director. Unfortunately, if the event is cancelled, costs won’t be refunded and the event can’t be rescheduled.

Do I need insurance for the event?

The Rottnest Channel Swim Association (RCSA) has very limited insurance cover for the event. The RCSA strongly recommends that all participants (swimmers, paddlers, and support crew) ensure they are adequately insured for the risks present on the day of the event. The RCSA cannot accept liability for personal or property damage resulting from your participation in the event.