Skippers and Paddlers
Boat skippers can accurately plot the 2017 courses via GPX. In order to import the GPX file, please consult your chartplotter/GPS system user manual, or through online information sources.
To ensure the highest standards of safety for the Hotel Rottnest Port to Pub event, the following requirements are in place:
- Each swimmer or team requires a support boat 5-12 metres in length with a qualified skipper, and is strongly encouraged to have a support paddler to accompany them throughout the event. Details must be provided on registration.
- You much hold any licence (including but not limited to a recreational skipper's ticket) required by Law or the Marine Rules to skipper the vessel
- To ensure the highest standards of safety for the event, it is recommended that skippers become a member of Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue Group. This event would not be possible without the assistance of FVSRG. In the event of an emergency, FVSRG will have a quick access to the database of all member skippers’ contact details, and can help your crew as fast as possible.
- Paddlers are required to attend the briefing and have practiced paddling with their swimmers
Skippers – what you need to know
Boat skippers are the unsung heroes of the swim. Your role begins when you accept to assist a solo or team of swimmers to complete the swim months before the actual event. Experienced skippers should know how important it is to prepare your craft for the journey, checking that everything on board is current, in date and in working order. Please ensure your boat is registered, that you belong to Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue Group and have a current registered skipper’s ticket.
If your vessel is over 10 metres, you are advised to stay south of the channel and the main fleet.
If this is you first time, get to know your swimmer or team of swimmers, as lifelong friendships are made from successful crossings. You are responsible for the safety of your craft, swimmers and crew on board and, importantly, the safety of other swimmers and boats. For many swimmers, this is not a race, although everyone would like to make the crossing in the best time possible, meaning that the safety of everyone in the water is of paramount importance. Solo swimmers have the right of way at all times. You are in charge and responsible for your swimmer’s safety, keep a keen eye for the safety of swimmers in the water in your immediate vicinity.
The most difficult task is a successful start where care, calm and good manners are important; know the starting protocol and stay away from the holding area until your swimmer’s wave has been called. Make sure that you have a plan know how to identity of your paddler and your first swimmers style and how long it take for that swimmer to swim 1000 metres.
The changeover can be very stressful - take extreme caution, use good manners and be calm at all times. Take it slowly and cautiously and beware of the ever present danger of the propeller, most injuries are caused by a swimmers own boat. Boats should not go astern at all. However, skippers can use reverse thrust to stop the forward way of their boat, to avoid swimmer, paddler or vessel collision. This must be done in a controlled manner with the skipper checking it is all clear directly behind his boat before acting.
Your swimmer must never be out of sight or out of mind, set each crew member a specific task with one member being responsible to watch for swimmers. Your radio must be on at all times. Communication is the key to safety. Assign a crew member to this task
A good skipper is prepared. Make sure you become familiar with either the mooring or beach anchoring etiquette of Rottnest Island.
Empower yourself by setting a good example for everyone around you, and have a great day!
Vessel size restrictions
Support boats are to be organised by entrants. No personal watercraft is allowed. E.g. jet skis.
Vessels used in the Hotel Rottnest Port to Pub are restricted to 5 - 12 metres in length. Tenders must be greater than 3.75 metres. It is recommended vessels over 10 metres stay to the south of the channel and of the main fleet.
To determine how many people are legally permitted on board, please refer to the Department of Transport requirements, or refer to your boat builders plate. Your boat must be licensed to carry your whole team including swimmer/s, paddler/s, and all support crew.
Race Day Communications
- All Traffic, including emergencies and mayday calls are to be made on 77VHF. Mayday or Pan-Pan calls, urgent messages such as a swimmer requiring medical assistance of any kind. General Traffic includes calls to locate a swimmer, breakdown and general announcements from the Race Day Emergency Team (navigation warning etc.)
Paddlers - Your Role and Tips
As support paddler in the Port to Pub, your role is to:
- Guide your swimmer(s) and take responsibility for their safety
- Relay information between the skipper/support crew and your swimmer
- Maintain a positive and encouraging demeanour
- Continue to assess your swimmer’s physical and mental condition throughout the event. Asking them simple questions is a good way to do this
- Find out which side your swimmer would prefer you to paddle on
- Keep your swimmer on course - even slightly raised seas can make it difficult for a swimmer to see where they are going
- During the event, the paddler should stay parallel to the boat, which the skipper will be keeping on the most direct line. The swimmer should stay parallel to the kayak. Your skipper should also inform you of landmarks that the team is aiming towards
- A good way to get your swimmer back on the correct line if they have lost direction, and your kayak is also off direction, is to lift the paddle and point it in the direction of where you want them to go.
- Make sure you can see the swimmer at all times. Stay by their side and make sure other support boats know there is a swimmer by your side. Your swimmer may prefer you to be very close by and guide them, so they don’t have to keep looking up and ahead to see where they’re going.
- Consider ways to signal to your swimmer(s) as they may not be able to hear your instructions very easily.
- Paddlers for solo swimmers will need to feed their swimmer by passing the food over, or using a pole with a bucket attached to it. You can give them liquids by throwing them a bottle attached to a rope. Have a nutrition run-sheet worked out with your support crew and swimmer.
- Have a plan of where you will meet your swimmer and support boat at the designated collection point(s).
- Practice paddling next to your swimmer – it will make the experience much easier on the day.
- Having a plan and constant communication is the key to providing your swimmer(s) with the best experience.
What to Wear
- It is most important that you fully protect yourself from the sun
- Wear bright colours or something distinctive so the first swimmer and support boat can easily find you at the start
- A large, wide-brimmed hat
- Zinc and sunscreen
- Long sleeved rash vest or shirt
- Board shorts or leggings/wetsuit if cold
- Sunglasses (have a strap if possible)
- Camel back or water bottle – you will need to drink plenty of fluid on the day
- Enjoy the day!
2017 course coordinates
19.75km COURSE (DEGREES.DECIMAL)
19.75km COURSE (DEGREES.DECIMAL.MINUTES)
|Start||32 01.723 S||115 44.854 E|
|4km||32 01.275 S||115 42.369 E|
|7km||32 00.938 S||115 40.505 E|
|10km||32 00.601 S||115 38.641 E|
|11km||32 00.488 S||115 38.020 E|
|12km||32 00.376 S||115 37.399 E|
|13km||32 00.263 S||115 36.778 E|
|14km||32 00.151 S||115 36.157 E|
|15km||32 00.038 S||115 35.536 E|
|16km||31 59.925 S||115 34.915 E|
|17km||31 59.812 S||115 34.294 E|
|18km||31 59.811 S||115 33.659 E|
|19km||31 59.802 S||115 33.024 E|
|Finish||31 59.859 S||115 32.555 E|