Get ready for the 2018 Rotto Swim!

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Tell us what you want. What you really, really want!
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

Once again, the Rottnest Channel Swim Association (RCSA) would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the 2017 Post Event Survey – your feedback is what we use to keep improving the Event every year so it's safe to say we couldn't plan the 2018 swim without you!

This year we had 548 responses and these included your thoughts on the 2017 event and how we can improve the swim for the future.

The things you liked this year included:

  1. A first in first served process replacing the ballot
  2. Ability to buy t-shirts before the Metro Safety Briefing
  3. The video briefing to deliver the safety info in the quickest way possible
  4. The atmosphere at the start and finish line

Things you didn't like so much:

  1. A wave of race packs not arriving at the briefing – we are really sorry, we didn't know until these were unpacked on the day
  2. Duo buddies and team members joining a team – we are looking into the most efficient way that the information can be completed
  3. The strong current – we are looking into providing more information in the lead up to the swim
  4. The larger t-shirt sizes running out – more will be ordered for 2018.

The recommendations below are based on your suggestions and responses, and include changes to Champions of the Channel, making the buoys clearer and revising the cut off times.

2018 Recommendations

Champions of the Channel

The RCSA held a meeting with past participants of the Champions of the Channel (CotC) and the RCSA Committee has agreed to the following:

  • CotC will be a solo category only
  • CotC will be an elite wave consisting of the top seeded soloists (based on your uploaded 10km qualifying time)
  • CotC participants will receive a gold cap at the briefings when they collect their race pack.
  • ALL solos are eligible for cash prizes. This means that whether you're in the CotC or other solo waves, you are still in the running to win the cash prizes.
  • And the best part of all is, solo category cash prizes will be awarded for soloists from 1st place through to 5th place for males and females.

Cut off times

Helping you get to the finish line, the RCSA Committee have reviewed the course cut off times and the following updates will be made:

  • 18km – 4.05pm
  • 19km – 4.35pm
  • 19.25km – 4.45pm

These updated times will be included on all maps for the 2018 Event.


We know the day can be stressful for your support crew (and we had a large number of skipper newbies for 2017) so we are going to make the mid-course buoys easier to be read so you can more easily determine your location in relation to the most important landmark - the finish line! The RCSA is looking into different ways that the buoys will mark your course to Rottnest Island, which include more colours or numbers. Stay tuned for more information later in the year to see what the changes will be.

And last but not least, some recommendations that were trialled for 2017 that we will keep for 2018:

  • The Metro Safety Briefing will continue to be held on a Saturday afternoon with t-shirt sales available before and after the briefing.
  • Swimmer declarations will continue to be done online – it is important that each team member registers themselves (we don't want to go back to having all the hard copies signed off and brought to the briefing!).
  • We will be keeping the shade structure at the photo queuing area to keep you cool and protected from the sun after your swim.
  • The option of tandem solos (two solos, one boat) will be available again for the 2018 swim but strict rules will be enforced on the day. This option is designed for first time soloists or family and friends who train together only. Tandem solos must remain within 10-20m of each other. This is for your own safety – if you are a fast swimmer, don't be a turkey and ruin this option for others.
  • As per last year, team categories will be set from Tuesday, 2 January. This means that you must have your entire team in the registration system before this date to be in the correct age category. We will still accept swimmer substitutes from this date but the team will remain in the wave that has been allocated.
  • And no more ballot! The registration process for duos and teams will remain a first in first served process.

2018 Registration dates

This year's Rottnest Channel Swim will be held on Saturday, 24 February 2018! Make sure to take note of the registration dates below:

Monday, 23 October to Sunday, 29 October 2017

  • Solos (this includes tandem solos)
  • Lavan Charity Challenge teams (limited spaces for securing your team early)

Wednesday, 1 November to Sunday, 5 November 2017 (or until sold out)

  • Duos and Teams (first in first served)

Please note: soloists will still receive guaranteed entry and the category is open for one week only. While we have set the system for duos and teams to be open for five days, the spots are first in first served so will close once sold out. For the 2017 Event, the duos and team spots sold out in two hours, so make sure your team captain is ready to go! You can find more information on how to prepare for registration week here.

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