Event Rules

Event Rules

1. FINA Rules for open water swimming apply to the 19.7km and 25km ultramarathon events in regard to swimsuits, feeding, and drafting. FINA rules may change from time to time. It is the responsibility each swimmer to ensure compliance with the latest FINA Rules on Event day (note this does not include the wearing of a watch as this is permitted for all swimmers in Port to Pub).

2. Solos (19.7km only), Duos, Teams of 4, and Teams of 6 may swim with the assistance of a wetsuit, but the swim will not be recorded as a ratified swim and the assisted solo swimmer will not be eligible for Port to Pub number plates or prizes.

3. Event day check-in closes thirty (30) minutes prior to the wave start. Swimmers not checked in and registered by this time will not be permitted to start the race. Each solo swimmer and one swimmer from each duo or team will have their timing bands checked in morning of the event to ensure their details are correct. The timing band is to be worn on the left ankle for the entire duration of the race.

4. All solo 19.7km and 25km ultramarathon swimmers must have completed a 10km open water swim in less than 4 hours 15 minutes within a two-year time frame prior to the event date or have completed a solo Rottnest Channel crossing (Port to Pub or Rottnest Channel Swim) in the previous two years to enter. Solo swimmers must show evidence of a qualifying swim on their registration forms.

5. The minimum age of all duo and team swimmers allowed at the date of the event is 13 years, in accordance with WA Swimming and Swimming Australia rules.

a. 13-year-olds can only compete in Port to Pub duo and team events and must have parental or guardian consent to take part; consent waivers are provided on the Port to Pub registration form and event website.

b. Solo swimmers must be at least 14 years old and have parental or guardian consent to take part; consent waivers are provided on the Port to Pub registration form and event website. All solo swimmers must complete the qualifying standards and give evidence of such on their registration form.

c. All swimmers under 18 years of age must have parental or guardian consent to participate in the event; consent waivers are provided on the Port to Pub registration form and event website.

6. Swimmers and paddlers must be accompanied by a support boat. For solo 19.km and 25km ultramarathon swimmers, paddlers are compulsory. In the case of a tandem, a paddler for each swimmer. Stand up paddle boards are not allowed as paddle crafts.

7. All swimmers must have their race number tattoo applied to both arms during the event. Number tattoos are provided in the briefing packs distributed at the briefing events.

8. Swimmers must be officially registered to participate in the Port to Pub 19.7km and 25km ultramarathon. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in a ban from the event and future events.

9. Swimmers are required to wear a timing strap. They must cross over the timing mat and enter the swimmers starting chute for the timing strap to register. Swimmers must also cross over the finish line mat to register an official finish time.

10. Swimmers must wear a designated Port to Pub swim cap at all times throughout the event. 25km ultramarathon swimmers may not wear a double cap.

11. Artificial propulsion devices must not be used, nor any flotation devices. Gloves and socks including, but not limited to, compression socks must not be worn.

12. Swimmers are not permitted to receive any form of assistance, including drafting or holding on to an escort boat or another swimmer, during the swim. This applies to the active swimmer of duos and teams as well as all solo and ultra marathon swimmers at all times.

13. Port to Pub has two categories of swimmers: UNASSISTED and ASSISTED

UNASSISTED CATEGORY – Swimsuits must comply with FINA’s Open Water Swimming Rules. FINA states that a complying suit:

a. Is of a woven textile material;

b. Does not cover the neck;

c. Does not extend beyond the shoulders or ankles; and

d. Does not have a zip or other fastening system.

A list of approved swimsuits can be found on the FINA website. It is the swimmer’s responsibility to ensure their swimsuit complies with FINA rules.

Swimmers MAY NOT:

a. Wear any item with neoprene or any other buoyant material;

b. Wear anything not within the FINA rules or within the Port to Pub exemptions; or

c. Wear various types of inner or outer ear headphones.

Swimmers MAY:

a. Wear two suits as long one suit only comprises of a brief or bikini.

b. Use Wool Fat/Lanolin/Vasoline.

c. Wear goggles.

d. Wear a nose clip.

e. Wear two caps (except for 25km ultramarathon swimmers) as long as the outer cap is the Port to Pub cap to show the event category.

f. Wear ear plugs.

g. Wear a rash vest.

h. Wear a watch.

ASSISTED CATEGORY – Swimmers in this category are not competing against UNASSISTED swimmers for prizes and/or records. ASSISTED swimmers are not eligible for Port to Pub or RCS number plates:

a. Wetsuits must be no thicker than 5mm.

b. Race numbers must be written on race swim cap.

c. All the components of the wetsuit must fit the swimmer’s body tightly.

d. May wear a brief or bikini underneath the wetsuit.

e. May use Wool Fat/Lanolin/Vasoline.

f. May wear goggles.

g. May wear two caps if the outer cap is the Port to Pub category cap.

h. May wear a nose clip.

i. May wear ear plugs.

j. May wear a watch.

k. If only one team member wears a wetsuit, the team is still categorised as ASSISTED.

l. Solo swimmers that swim with a wetsuit will be recorded in the ASSISTED SOLO category.

14. Each swimmer indemnifies and holds harmless, Port to Pub Pty Ltd and its agents, officials, contractors, volunteers, the Port to Pub Committee, Department of Transport, Fremantle Port Authority, Fremantle Marine Rescue/Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue Group, Rottnest Island Authority, Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club, Floreat Life Saving Club and their officers and swim officials against any claim for damages or injury arising from conduct of the swim.

15. Participation in these events is voluntary and the organisation’s officials or volunteers can accept no liability on the day of the Port to Pub event.

16. Swimmers must complete sections of the event in specific times (refer to cut-off times). If solo, duo, or team swimmers have not reached the stipulated distances within the time limit they must leave the water and travel by their support boat to the finish or back to the mainland. Those who don’t meet specified cut-off times will be disqualified from the event immediately.

17. The start of the event will be signalled by bell or other starting device. Count-down to the start will commence five (5) minutes before the allocated time by the event starter. It is the responsibility of the swimmer to ensure the support boat is on time.

18. Swimmers will swim alone in the starting channel for the first 500 metres. They must meet their respective paddlers after the 500m buoy and may then continue to the 1000m buoy where they meet their respective support boats. Solo 25km ultramarathon swimmers will meet their paddlers at the 25km turn buoy 1&3.

19. No duo or team member swimmer changeovers are to take place in the first 1000 metres for safety reasons. If the swimmer is in distress and requires assistance before the 1000m marker Fremantle lifesaving will assist and inform port to pub swim base who will inform the swimmers support boat via radio.

20. If a swimmer is unaccompanied by a support boat at the 1500 metre mark, the swimmer is instructed to approach the designated 1500m event marker (ICON BOAT) and tread water. Port to Pub staff will contact Port to Pub Swim Base to notify it of the swimmer’s location and status as awaiting a support vessel. The swimmer may re-enter the event on the arrival of the support boat. The swimmer may tread water for 20 minutes and, if no support boat arrives, the swimmer must withdraw from the event and return to the beach. This includes swimmers that have located their paddlers but neither party have located their support boat, same holding pattern above applies.

21. If a support boat has not located its swimmer by the 1500m event marker (ICON BOAT), the boat skipper must advise Port to Pub Swim Base by marine radio (VHF CH74) and await further instructions.

22. Unassisted 19.7km and 25km Ultra marathon swimmers is NOT permitted to use, or receive the benefit from, any form of artificial swimming aid or assistance during the Event, included but not limited to, the following:

a. Hold on to the support boat, other crafts, paddle craft or Paddler;

b. Drafting from another swimmer, paddler craft or support boat; and

c. pacesetting from another swimmer, whether they be registered or unregistered for the Event (excluding Tandem Solo Swimmers who are permitted to swim alongside one another).

23. During swimmer changeover, swimmers will tag at least ten (10) metres from the support boat in a visible manner (i.e., above water surface).

24. In the case of a shark sighting, the support boat skipper MUST report the sighting immediately to race radio on Channel 74. Once ratified, if deemed as a threat, the Race Director may instruct all swimmers in a designated (1km) radius of the sighting to exit the water. If this happens, the affected vessels are to remain in their locations until the Race Director advises it is safe for swimmers and paddlers in that zone to re-enter the water and continue with the event without disqualification.

Solo swimmers within the 1km evacuation zone who decide to exit the water – their swims will be regarded as abandoned / aborted in line with FINA rules and not recorded as official solo crossings. In these cases, support boats must remain stationary until the Race Director declares the zone clear and the race back underway. At that time, solo swimmers can choose to keep swimming; however, their crossings will not be ratified. If the solo swimmer remains in the water by treading water waiting for instruction to recommence, they do so at their own risk and can continue their swim to the finish where their swim will be ratified if other rules have been followed.

25. There is no set swimming time or order for team swimmers, although Port to Pub recommends at least 1-2 minutes of swimming before changeover for safety reasons and to reduce the risk of injury.

26. Swimmers must enter Thomson Bay between the 18km orange buoy and Phillip Rock.

27. Any protest regarding competitor conduct or race rules must be lodged in writing to the Race Director by 4:00pm on event day. A decision will be made by the race committee in accordance with Port to Pub Event Rules and based on any evidence given and the judgment of officials.

28. The event strictly closes at 5:00pm. All swimmers must be through the finish line or will be recorded as a DNF. All competitors in the water are required to leave the water immediately. All services will cease once all swimmers and crew are accounted for. The event strictly closes at 5:00pm. All swimmers must be through the finish line, or will be recorded as a DNF. All competitors in the water are required to leave the water immediately. All services will cease once all swimmers and crew are accounted for.

29. If the Race Director considers it necessary due to deteriorating weather conditions, loss of on water medical or safety support vessels or personnel or any other risk to safety, the Event may be terminated prior to 5:00pm.

30. To enter and compete in the K&L Gates Corporate Cup, there must be at least one swimmer in the team that is an employee of the organisation being represented.

31. Drones of any type are strictly prohibited at the start, finish or anywhere amongst the fleet during the Event. If any Participants or any supporters on a registered Support Boat use a drone, that Ultra/Solo/Duo/Team will be disqualified, will result in banning from future Events and may, in some circumstances, also result in prosecution.

32. Balloons are not permitted to be used for identification or any other purpose for the duration of the Event.


33. The minimum age for all Skippers at the date of the Event is 18 years.

34. On event day, skippers must have a working VHF Radio tuned to channel 74 and have also registered their mobile phone numbers with Port to Pub to allow Port to Pub officials to contact them during the event if required.

35. Skippers must have a valid Recreational Skipper qualification. All vessels are to be registered in accordance with Navigable Waters Regulations 1958 and carry all required mandatory marine safety and emergency equipment to make a successful journey to Rottnest Island and back to Perth mainland. The boat stickers supplied in briefing packs (distributed at the briefing event) showing their swimmer/s race number must be displayed on either side of vessel and visible.

36. It is recommended support vessels be 5-10 metres in length. The support vessel must be licenced to carry all passengers – this includes a skipper, paddler, watercraft, spotter, support crew, and swimmer/s.

37. Vessels of 10m and over are required to remain outside of the channel and of the main fleet. Tenders should be 3.1 metres or less in size with a motor not exceeding 5hp. Tenders used to ferry swimmers to and from the boat during the event are exempt from registration and carrying marine radio, distress beacon and flares but all tender occupants need to be wearing PFD’s. It is the skipper’s responsibility to make themselves aware of the regulations and requirements related to travelling to Rottnest Island (see dot.wa.gov.au).

38. One life jacket (PFD type1) for each person on board including all swimmers and paddlers. In all vessels less than 4.8m in length all occupants must wear their life jackets once 400m offshore.

39. Support boats MUST NOT make way astern. This means they must not move backwards. To avoid danger (to a vessel, a swimmer, a paddler, etc.) a skipper is permitted to use astern (reverse) thrust – BUT ONLY TO STOP OR SLOW THE VESSEL’S FORWARD WAY. The vessel MUST NOT make way astern (i.e., move backwards) under any circumstances. If the skipper needs to stop or slow the vessel’s forward way, they must ensure it is safe to do so (i.e., no swimmer or paddler immediately behind the vessel).

40. One support vessel may support tandem solo swimmers but must comply with the following rules:

a. Tandem swimmers need to swim near each other and at a similar pace – proximity is no greater than 20 metres in distance.

b. Each tandem swimmer must have their own paddler. The support boat must stay with the slowest swimmer, and tandem swimmers must be aware this could affect their overall race time.

c. If a swimmer is injured or needs assistance, both swimmers must stop. If the support boat needs to stop to assist one swimmer the other swimmer may not, in any circumstance, continue without the support boat. The other swimmer must stay and tread water until the boat is able to proceed or withdraw from the event due to the support boat requiring action to render the solo swimmer medical assistance.

41. All boats need to keep within an 8-knot speed limit and stay ~10 metres from their swimmer (or slowest swimmer if supporting tandem solo swimmers). Boats withdrawing from the event must be at least 200 metres from the race channel and main fleet before increasing speed past 8 knots.

42. Vessels with single propellers must be in neutral when picking up and taking a swimmer on board, and support boats must not back up to pick up a swimmer. The swimmer must be on the windward or weather side of the boat. An extra lookout must be positioned at the transom (back) of the boat if the boat driver is unsighted when picking up a swimmer.

43. Vessels with twin outboard motors must ensure their engines are switched off entirely during swimmer exchange.

44. Swimmers and escort craft shall give way to commercial shipping. All swimmers who have not passed the east point of the shipping channel by 10:00am will be disqualified from the event.

45. The Fremantle Port Authority’s commercial shipping channel (Gage Roads) will be open during the event. The Port to Pub Communications Base will advise support craft of commercial vessels expected to pass through the field. The Port is the controlling authority for vessels travelling through the field.

46. If a commercial vessel crosses the event course, an official boat will order swimmers to stop and tread water until the danger has passed before continuing the event. Swimmers will not be disqualified.

47. All competitors must cross the Fremantle Port’s commercial shipping channel (Gage Roads) by 11:00am. The Port to Pub Communications Base will radio a warning ahead of time and broadcast this alert at 10:45am. Failure to cross Gage Roads in time will require the swimmer to leave the water and board their support boat and exit the event.

48. Support boats must assemble in clearly designated holding areas to the north and south of the swim channel. Support boat skippers will be notified just prior to their swimmer wave by VHF Channel 74 and will proceed to join up with swimmer at the 1000 metre mark. Swimmers and paddlers cannot be dropped off at the start line by their support boat. Please note that 1000m from the start line is a support boat exclusion zone.

49. No alcohol is to be consumed during the event by swimmers or support crew.

50. All support boats that are 10 metres or longer are required to:

a. stay on the extremities of the fleet at all times (north or south) but remain south of the northern boundary;

b. use a registered tender;

c. exit the swim course at the 18km gate (Phillip Rock). This means the swimmer will finish the race with the tender and/or paddler. From Philip Rock to the finish line, it is relatively sheltered water. Additional water safety personnel are present along the final 1.7km for swimmer safety.

51. Support boats that are less than 10 metres in length must leave the swim course no later than the 19km gate. Between the 18km and 19km buoys, the swim course can become heavily congested. It is encouraged that support boats stay out of the swim course during this period. Support boats that are less than 10 metres in length may leave the swim course at the 18km gate but are not required to.

52. Powered boats that go beyond the 18km gate will be encouraged to navigate to the boundaries of the swim course until the 19km mark where they must leave the swim course.

53. From the 19km marker, all vessels must stay specifically out of the swim channel veering either North or South and stay on that pathway not crossing back over the swim channel or face disqualification.

54. If a solo or team swimmer is disqualified by an official, the swimmer/s MUST exit the water and the support boat MUST transport the swimmer/s to land. Once disqualified, swimmers are not protected by safety resources.


55. Paddlers must display race number stickers provided in the briefing packs distributed at the briefing events on the front of their paddle crafts.

56. Paddlers must depart from the shore to the holding area. Paddlers cannot paddle from the support vessel to the paddler holding area they must start from the beach.

57. Paddlers are to assemble at the buoys 500 metres offshore five minutes prior to wave start.

58. Paddlers must not proceed beyond the 1500m event marker (ICON BOAT) without their respective support vessels and swimmers.

59. Paddlers will exit at the final 400 metre mark unless supporting a 19.7km or 25km ultramarathon solo swimmer, whereby they are required to support that swimmer to shore.

60. Paddlers must a wear a personal flotation device at level 50s or above at all times during the event. This is compulsory under a WA Department of Transport directive.