Course Information

Important Note

Note that all information on this page is based on previous Port to Pub swims and subject to change. Finalised information will be provided at the 2024 Event Briefings as well as online in advance of the 16th March 2024 event day.

Buoy Locations




25km ultramarathon – buoy locations & instructions

The Port to Pub 25km ultramarathon begins at Leighton Beach in front of the Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club. The 25km course starts with a 5km loop along Leighton Beach. Ultramarathon swimmers will swim out to the ‘ultramarathon turn-buoy 1&3’ (pink buoy) and make a 90-degree clockwise turn.

Swimmers will head north for 2.62km staying on the western side of the course until the large ‘ultramarathon 2.62km turn buoy 2’ (pink buoy). Competitors will make a 180-degree clockwise turn and return to the south for 2.62km staying on the eastern side of the course until the ‘ultramarathon turn buoy 1&3’ (pink buoy). Competitors make a 90-degree clockwise turn and proceed along the direct course to the finish line at Hotel Rottnest.

Buoys will be placed at the 9km, 12km, 15km, 16km, 17km, 18km, 19km, 20km, 21km, and up until the 22km marking the most direct course line. The final 3km of marker buoys are shown in the map of the finishing channel below.

There are buoys (red) placed north of the rhumb line at 15km, 19km, and 22km marks. Swimmers must remain south of these buoys at all times.


19.7km direct course – buoy locations & instructions

The 19.7km Port to Pub swim starts at Leighton Beach in front of the Fremantle Surf Lifesaving Club and finishes at Rottnest Island in front of the Hotel Rottnest.

Buoys will be placed at the 4km, 7km, 10km, 11km, 12km, 13km, 14km, 15km, 16km, and 17km marking the most direct course line. There will also be red coloured buoys to the north of the rhumb line at the 10km, 14m, 17km marks. Swimmers must remain south of these buoys.


Finish channel – buoy locations & instructions

(18km/23km Buoy, Philip Rock) A large (orange) buoy will be set adjacent to Philip Rock to form a gate and mark the northern boundary (NB: this is not the rhumb line) at approximate, Latitude 31 59.811 S, Longitude 115 33.659 E. The cut-off time for this location is 4:15pm.

(18.2km, 18.4km, 18.6km, 18.8km buoys) Pink markers buoys indicate the rhumb line every 200m to intersect the 19km Gate (2 x yellow buoys).

(19km/24km gate) Two large (yellow) buoys marked (19km/24km [No Boats]) is set to form a target for swimmers to pass through. All duo and team members may enter the water and continue together at this point.

All support boats must depart from their swimmer(s) once they have reached this point and peel off either to the north or south of the finish channel and allow the swimmer(s) to continue with their paddler. The cut off time for this location is 4:45pm.

Please note, support vessels MUST remain with their swimmer/s until the 19km marker, but not travel past it.

(19.2km buoys) Between the 19km gate and the final 400m Swim Channel, there are directional pink marker buoys at 19.2km. Once the swimmers pass through the directional marker buoys, they will reach the entrance to the final 400m swim channel.

(Final 400m swim channel) Two large blue buoys will form a gate to mark the start of the 400 metre swim channel that all swimmers must pass through. Paddlers will exit at the final 400 metre mark, unless you are supporting a swimmer within the 25km solo category or the 19.7km solo category, in which case, you are required to support that swimmer to shore.


Final 400m – instructions

Swimmers must swim between the marked float lines for the last 400 metres. Swimmers should be careful through the mooring area and throughout Thomson Bay. Paddlers, please direct your swimmers to the finishing arch.

Paddlers must return craft to boat or drag craft to a safe spot high up onto the beach to collect. Boats are to drop off support crew who wish to stay on the Island at the fuel jetty, and then moor or return to Perth.

Swimmers, support crew and paddlers should organise a spot to meet once the race is complete.

Cut-Off Times

Cut–off times have been set along the course to ensure the health and safety of our swimmers. All swimmers, including solos, that do not meet the cut-off times will be immediately disqualified from the race. In these cases, swimmers can choose to return to the mainland or continue to Rottnest Island.

Swimmer Cut-Off Times – 19.7km direct course (25km ultramarathon)

Route Optimisation Tool

By using a mathematical algorithm, the route optimisation tool is able to provide an optimised route based on the predicted sea surface currents and each swimmer’s expected swimming speed. This tool will be available in the week leading up to Port to Pub race day.

This route optimisation tool has been adapted for Port to Pub based on an existing tool created by the University of Western Australia in collaboration with the Rottnest Channel Swim Association and Aurora Offshore Engineering. Surface currents vary in space and time between Cottesloe and Rottnest Island and can reach speeds that are a significant fraction of a swimmers speed (>1 m/sec). These currents are often strongest as a swimmer approaches Rottnest and adjusting ones swimming route to accommodate these currents can lead to a quicker and safer swim.

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