Bye Bye Ballot!

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Bye Bye Ballot!
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.
Post Event Survey

The Rottnest Channel Swim Association (RCSA) would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who completed the 2016 post event survey. The survey has been developed so we can make the Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim better every year.

Some of the features we are looking into include a new registration system, restructuring the Metro Safety Briefing, a more accessible check in at the start line, and post event entertainment for swimmers and families.

Based on your suggestions and responses, we have compiled a list of recommendations for 2017 that we believe will not only continue to enhance your experience but also ensure you have a safe and successful channel crossing. 

2017 Recommendations

Registration system

As the event has grown, the RCSA has strived to make the registration system as fair as possible.

Back in the day, the swim had a 'first in, first served' approach, whereby participants would fill in a form and deliver it to the RCSA Office. This created an unfair advantage for those that lived close by and a ballot was then introduced.

With our registration system now online, a ballot has become no longer relevant and reintroducing a 'first-in, first served' registration system would give entrants a fairer opportunity to register and remove the issue of swimmers missing out several years in a row.

Our preliminary dates are:

  • Solos will open for one week from 8.00am (AWST) Monday, 24 October to 5.30pm (AWST) Sunday, 30 October 2016.
  • Duos and Teams will follow afterwards from 8.00am (AWST) Wednesday, 2 November to 5.30pm (AWST) Sunday, 6 November 2016.

These will be confirmed as we get closer.

No more waiting to see whether your duo or team have made it, you'll be confirmed and ready to race as soon as you register!

For more information, visit our website.

Metro Safety Briefing

Always a milestone in the calendar, the Metro Safety Briefing kicks off the Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim countdown every year. With that in mind, we are always looking for ways to improve and evolve the event to make it a better experience for everyone.

Based on your feedback, the committee have agreed to investigate the following recommendations:

  • Moving the briefing to a weekend day
  • T-shirts for sale prior to the briefing
  • Helpful Tips and Tricks

We will update you as we progress.


You asked and we listened. After considering your feedback, the committee have agreed to trial a marker buoy between the icon vessel (1500m mark) and the 10km Channel Ten buoys. Due to restriction on anchoring in the shipping channel, the buoy will be placed at the 6km mark (on the rhumb line).

Mixed teams

In 2017, a team must now have a minimum of two female team members to be considered 'mixed'. This removes a potentially unfair advantage that teams with three male swimmers, and one female swimmer, could have.


There was considerable feedback this year following the congestion issues experienced at the start line. To alleviate bottlenecking during registrations, volunteers will assist swimmers in retrieving their timing strap and multiple timing check points will be available for all categories.

2017 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim

We are pleased to confirm that the 2017 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim will be held on Saturday, 25 February 2017!

With registrations planned for late October/early November, we strongly suggest you start looking for a boat and a skipper, once you've put your team together. Although this seems lightyears away, it'll be here before you know it!

If you're a first time solo swimmer, take note of our qualification period for next year's event and stay tuned for more info!

Sponsor Opportunities

We have one sponsorship opportunity available for the 2017 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim. If you would like to see your brand as part of the world's largest open water swimming event, please contact the RCSA office on (08) 9389 4080 or email for more info.


T-shirt Design Competition

Yep, it's here again but this year we have a new challenge – it must feature the RCSA's swimmer! We are looking for a unique twist on the logo that also captures the spirit of the channel crossing. Feel free to manipulate it, colour outside the lines and make it your own, creativity is key!

Not only will the winner have their design on the 2017 Event t-shirts, but you can choose between a guaranteed place as a duo or a team in the 2017 swim or $500 cash!

Entries are open for one month only from Friday, 1 July to Sunday, 31 July 2016.

To see the terms and conditions as well as a free template of the swimmer, please visit our website here or email for more information. 

Champions of the Channel Doco

Have you seen the Champions of the Rottnest Channel documentary? Filmed during the lead up to and on the day of this year's swim, it highlights the work put into making a successful crossing as well as featuring some of the participants who took part in the inaugural Champions of the Channel event. Get inspired by viewing it in two parts on our YouTube channel.

Your Swim - Your Day!

So many of our swimmers want to extend their time on Rottnest Island after their swim to celebrate their successful channel crossing with family and friends! Ideas we are splashing around are: more food options, post event entertainment and activities for kids. Watch this space for more info.

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