2016 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim - Post Event Wrap

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2016 Post Event Wrap
Highly regarded worldwide and one of Western Australia's iconic events, the Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim is a 19.7km open water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island. Whether competing as a solo, duo or team, the Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim is a 'team' event with all swimmers surrounded by a support network of paddlers, boat skippers and crew. The event, managed by the Rottnest Channel Swim Association, is held in February of each year and is Rottnest Island's biggest day.
Race Director Report

Congratulations on participating in the 2016 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim and Champions of the Channel!

So far we have received a lot of positive feedback about this year's event and we look forward to reviewing the results of the post event surveys. Feedback from participants (both the good and the constructive) is vital for the continued enhancement of the event. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!

The proportion of swimmers safely completing the crossing has long been a key measure of success for race organisers. This year, 99% of swimmers who started at Cottesloe successfully finished the event. The last three years have been 93% (2015), 99% (2014) and 95% (2013). While 99% is a great result, we will be speaking with those who didn't finish to learn why and assess whether we can help in mitigating this.

Started Finished
Solo 260 253
Duo 189 (378) 188 (376)
Team 458 (1,832) 455 (1,820)
CotC 38 (55) 37 (54)
Total Boats 920 908
Total Swimmers 2,525 2,503


Event day saw three swimmers treated by on-water medical support and taken back to Fremantle, with none resulting in hospitalisation. Two were for hypothermia and one for sea sickness.

There were 46 swimmers who received medical support on the island. Over 75% of these were treated for hypothermia, with the majority being solo swimmers, almost all of whom were treated and discharged within a short time. One swimmer received extensive medical treatment as a result of this condition and low sodium levels. Providing education surrounding the warning signs and treatment of hypothermia will continue to be a priority for future briefings. 

Rule Breaches

The RCSA will continue to have a 'soft touch' with rule breaches where safety is not compromised. Warnings will continue to be given and further action only taken where absolutely necessary. In the event of a breach that compromises the safety of swimmers, paddlers, or other boats, we will continue to have a stronger response. 

It should be noted that we regard a team to include swimmers, your paddler, and your skipper. A safety breach by any can mean a penalty being applied to all.     

This year there was one safety breach that led to a disqualification and further sanctioning, and one general misconduct issue that led to sanctioning.

Boat not contactable on Event Day and Misconduct: Officials were requested to assist in finding the support boat of a swimmer and paddler. The swimmer and paddler were then considered 'missing'. We spent in excess of two hours trying to make contact with the skipper, swimmers and emergency contacts via marine radio and telephone. The key rule breach is that the VHF radio was not turned on and volume up. For this breach, the team was disqualified and the skipper has been excluded from the 2017 and 2018 events.  The committee did not impose further penalties on the swimmers.

When we eventually made contact with the skipper and queried why they had not responded to several radio calls on VHF 77 and 16, and telephone calls, the skipper became verbally abusive and aggressive. A second attempt to have a conversation was made and the skipper displayed the same behaviour.  For this misconduct, a further three year ban was imposed, meaning that the skipper has also been excluded from the 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Thank you

Our aim is to ensure all swimmers reach the island safely and that takes a lot of effort and co-operation. Thanks to everyone for contributing to the success and safety of our event! 

Want to win a guaranteed entry in the 2017 event?!

We are already getting excited for next year's swim and we want to hear from you on how we can keep making it better. If you haven't already done so, through our post-event survey, please let us know the best parts of the swim and how we can improve the event.

To thank you for your time, we have a prize for one person to win a guaranteed place* in the 2017 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim or a $1,000 Karma Resorts voucher!

You have until next week, Friday, 25 March 2016, to complete the online survey. 

*Please note that the entry is not free but guaranteed for the 2017 event. Please click here for the full Terms and Conditions of the prize draw and the winner will be drawn at random.  

2016 Official Event Day Photos

Thanks again to our amazing event day photographers, Aussies in Action, who were on the ground (and in the water!) to capture every stroke of the 2016 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim and Champions of the Channel.

Did you know that you can search your race number to find photos of yourself or friends and family? Or you can also look up the time your picture was taken at the finish line.

If you would like to purchase any of the photos from the day, please visit the Aussies in Action website for more information.

Additional 2016 Merchandise

If you missed out on additional merchandise for the 2016 swim, we have a small range of sizes available at the RCSA Office. If you are interested in purchasing extra smalls, smalls or mediums, please contact us on enquiries@rottnestchannelswim.com.au to arrange a time for payment and collection. All t-shirts are $40 each. 

Our friends at Aussie Gold have a small range of sizes and styles left over from the swim which include large short sleeve t-shirts, medium hoodies and caps. For more information regarding these items, please contact Aussie Gold on (08) 9244 3444.  

Solo RCS Licence Plates

All first time solo swimmers will be allocated an official Rottnest Channel Swim Solo Crossing Number which will be their personalised number. Once solo crossing numbers are confirmed, all first time solo swimmers will be posted a letter and application form which you will need to return to us. These will be sent out by Monday, 28 March 2016 to your postal address included in your registration.

The cost to order these personalised plates is $385 and payment can be made via credit card or cheque.

The time from ordering via the RCSA, to production by the Department of Transport and final collection, can range from 4-8 weeks.

Unfortunately these plates are not available for motorcycles and are not available to interstate and international swimmers as souvenir plates. The Department of Transport requires these plates to be registered to a Western Australian vehicle.

If you are a previous solo swimmer and would like to purchase your plates, please contact us on enquiries@rottnestchannelswim.com.au and we will send you the forms.

Champions of the Channel Documentary

Have you heard the news?!

Thanks to Network TEN, there will be a Champions of the Channel show being screened locally on Channel TEN on Sunday, 25 March 2016 at 1pm.

Not in Perth? The documentary will be available on Channel ONE in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth on Saturday, 2 April 2016 at 12pm.

Not in any of these places? It will then be available on TenPlay!


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