Rottnest Channel Swim

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The start of one wave of the Rottnest Channel Swim, 2004

The Rottnest Channel Swim is an annual open water swimming event from Cottesloe Beach through Gage Roads to Rottnest Island, off the coast of Western Australia, near Perth. The distance is approximately 20 kilometres and it is one of the largest open-water swimming events in the world. It is held in February each year.[1]

It is open to solo swimmers and teams of two or four. The youngest swimmer was Sandon Block who competed in the 2006 channel swim at age 13.


When Rottnest Island was used as a prison it was rumoured that some of the prisoners swam back to the mainland, although there is no proof that any did. However some may have crossed by resting on Carnac and Garden Islands.

The first documented crossing by a swimmer was Gerd Von Dincklage-Schulinburg, on 24 January 1956.

On 15 March 1969, Herbert Voigt disappeared while attempting to swim to the island.

The first woman to swim to the island was Lesley Cherriman on 13 April 1969.[2]


Further reading[edit]

  • Mair, Olivia.(1999) In the swim.(Feature on Perth to Rottnest long distance swimming race, the GIO Australia Channel 9 Rottnest Channel Swim which began in 1991). Perth weekly, 17-23 Feb. 1999, p.12-13,
  • Tanham, Peter (2000), My thoughts on swimming the Rottnest Channel (2nd ed ed.), P. Tanham, retrieved 7 April 2013 

External links[edit]