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General by-laws

By-law 1

In any Rottnest Channel swim attempt, no swimmer shall use or be assisted by artificial aids.

In any Rottnest Channel swim attempt, Swimsuits must comply with the World Aquatics Competition Regulations. Generally, World Aquatics provides that a complying suit:

  • Is of a woven textile material,
  • Does not cover the neck,
  • Does not extend beyond the shoulders or ankles.

World Aquatics rules are subject to revision from time to time. It is the responsibility of each swimmer to ensure compliance.

The Rottnest Channel Swim Association (RCSA) provides the following guidance in the application of this rule for the purposes of any Rottnest Channel swim attempt:

You may:

  • (for modesty) wear two suits so long as one suit comprises only briefs (men and women) or a bikini (women),
  • grease the body before a swim,
  • use goggles,
  • wear two caps (your official cap must be the outer one worn),
  • use a nose clip,
  • use earplugs,
  • wear a rash vest / stinger suit.

You may not:

  • Wear any item with neoprene or any other buoyant material,
  • Wear anything not within the spirit of World Aquatics’ rules or within the spirit of the RCSA exemptions.

By-law 2:

For an attempt to be officially recognised as successful, a swimmer must enter the ocean from the natural connecting shore, swim across the Rottnest channel until he/she touches the opposite natural connecting shore and clear the water.

By-law 3:

The RCSA shall not sanction attempts to swim the Rottnest Channel by persons under the age of fourteen (14) years as at the day of the attempt, whether as an individual attempt or as part of a team attempt.

By-law 4:

The RCSA may appoint an employee or a member, as defined by the Constitution, to maintain the records for and on behalf of the Committee and the Association.

By-law 5:

The use of drugs by participants in the Rottnest Channel Swim, or any other channel crossing, other than for therapeutic reasons in accordance with medical advice, is regarded with complete disapproval and is considered contrary to the spirit of the Rottnest Channel Swim Association Inc. By Laws (Updated February 2020) RCSA.

Any swimmer unable to participate in the Rottnest Channel Swim or a channel crossing without the administration of banned drugs (as per the World Anti-Doping Association guidelines) must submit their application to the RCSA Committee with ample time for its consideration.

Solo crossing by-laws

By-law 6:

During a solo crossing attempt, no supporting contact whatsoever shall be permitted by any person or object with the swimmer.

By-law 7:

The RCSA Committee is required to keep a record of all solo crossings, whether made as part of a race as defined by by-law 7 or as separate solo crossings. For each solo crossing the minimum information required to be recorded is as follows:

  • Date of the attempt
  • Name of swimmer
  • Date of Birth
  • Sex
  • Course taken
  • Time (hrs:mins:secs)
  • Age at swim

During the event

By-law 8:

The RCSA can, from time to time, organise a race across the Rottnest Channel and set rules and regulations for that race as required. Participants in the race will be bound to comply with the set rules and regulations of the race for their crossing to be recognised.

Outside of event solo crossings

By-law 9:

Multiple Solo Crossings – at the change in direction the swimmer must swim up to shallow water, walk to the most accessible dry land, clear the water (at which time the solo crossing time shall be recorded), and return immediately to the water. Once back in the water at not less than knee height, the swimmer can stand or sit for up to 10 minutes before recommencing the next leg of the multiple solo crossing. During this time the swimmer can’t be assisted in any way except that they can be given food, water, grease (can be applied by someone other than the swimmer) and medication.

By-law 10:

Subject to bylaw 3, any swimmers intending to attempt a Rottnest Channel solo crossing must have the necessary permissions from relevant authorities and have a safety plan to deal with key risk factors.

By-law 11:

The observer of a Rottnest Channel solo crossing shall be in sole charge of the timing of the attempt, and shall be responsible for the interpretation of the rules, including the right to cancel the attempt in unsafe conditions and/or in conditions posing a danger to the swimmer.

By-law 12:

A non-refundable fee will be charged by the Association prior to the swim attempt.

By-law 13:

A solo crossing as defined by bylaw 9 will not be sanctioned during a race as defined by by-law 7 but must be conducted on a day separate to the organised race day to be recognised by the RCSA.