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Bucket list: Rottnest Island Channel Swim

Deano, Hoppo and Bacon pose for a photo on a boat at the Rottnest Island Channel SwimHere’s an ocean swim event to put on your bucket list!

I recently swam in the Rottnest Island Channel Swim.

The 19.7 km swim from Cottosloe Beach to Rottnest Island has been challenging people for 22 years now and is an iconic Western Australian event that also attracts international interest from ocean swimmers.

The ‘Rotto’ swim is my favourite ocean swim. It’s tough physically and even tougher mentally.

I should mention I did it with three mates in a Bondi Rescue Lifeguard team but some people take on the event solo which i find absolutely inspiring. There is also a two person team option (duo).Whichever way you tackle the challenge preparation and training is certainly required.

This year was my third crossing as a team and we put in 100% effort during the swim. We supported and encouraged the each other the whole way and no one stopped trying. This is what the event is about and winning our category was just bonus. Thanks to my teammates Jake, Bacon and Hoppo.

It’s really hard to describe the atmosphere of the event- the whole community get behind it. Whether they are swimming, helping, volunteering, watching from a boat or drinking at the pub, it’s a real calendar event over there.

Whether it takes you four hours and 15 seconds (race record for a solo swimmer) or nine hours to get to the beautiful island it’s worth all that preparation and training as you are immersed in positive energy – even though you are slightly exhausted.

Staying on the car free island (I love this), hiring a push bike to explore and checking out the unique Quoka’s will all make your trip unforgettable.


Deano’s tips for taking on the Rottnest Island Channel Swim

  1. Surround yourself with an awesome team. Swimming coach, boat driver team members,time keeper etc. Anyone one that helps make it easier for you is an important team member.
  2. Set your goals then work towards them through training and preparation – these are the key to success.
  3. Train in a group, it’s a great way to meet new people and something I do to keep it interesting.
  4. Have fun! That’s the whole idea of the challenge.
  5. Take time out afterwards and have a holiday as a reward for your hard work – that means you can push yourself a little harder during the race. We all need to be pushed and challenged!!
Dean Gladstone

Dean Gladstone

Dean is a professional lifeguard and star of Bondi Rescue, holistic lifestyle coach (PT) and former champion surf swimmer.

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