The Rottnest Swim is a 19.7km open water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island. Playfully nicknamed The Rotto Swim, it is one of Western Australia's most iconic events and one of the biggest open-water swimming events in the world. It seems to have a contagious effect: once you start, it's hard to stop. Many participants work their way up from team swims, to duos, to solos. It seems rare to find a swimmer who didn't fall in love with the swim at their first crossing. These storytellers attempted solo crossings at the 2018 Rottnest Channel Swim, held on the 24th of February. For some it was their first swim, others their 20th. All of them share a love of open-water swimming, admirable determination, and above all, a willingness to give it a go.
Alexandra is not a swimmer, nor is she involved directly in the Rotto Swim. Her passion for shipwrecks drove her to write this creative-non-fiction piece that imagines the story behind the Rottnest swimming legend, Herbert Voigt.
Katrina Porter is an Australian Paralympic swimmer, associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and active member of the North Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club.
Having completed the English Channel Swim, and a double crossing of the Rottnest Channel Swim, Peter set a new goal to improve his single crossing time. There’s just one small catch—he doesn’t like swimming.
For Sayani Das, swimming has become two things: a way to make her country proud, and a public demonstration that girls can do anything.
In 2018, not long after her 60th birthday, Trish Dooey attempted her 20th Rottnest Channel Swim and first ever solo crossing.