Event Rules

Event Rules (Part A)

  1. FINA Rules for open water swimming apply to the 19.7km and 25km ultra-marathon, in regards to swim suits, feeding and drafting. FINA rules may change from time to time. It is the responsibility each swimmer to ensure compliance.
  2. Solos (19.7km only), duos, teams of 4 and teams of 6 categories may swim with assistance (wetsuit), but will not be recorded as ratified swims, and are not eligible for Port to Pub or RCS number plates, or prizes.
  3. Registrations close 30 minutes prior to your wave start. If you are not registered by this time you will not be permitted to start the race.  Each solo swimmer and one swimmer from each duo or team will have their timing band checked. The timing band is to be worn on the left ankle for the entire duration of the race.
  4. All solo swimmers (19.7km and 25km ultra-marathon) 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 last two years to enter. Solo swimmers must show evidence of a qualifying swim in their registration form.
  5. Tandem solos that share a support boat are allowed for the 19.7km solo swim. They must have a paddler each and swim with 20 metres of each other. If the support boat needs to stop to assist one of the swimmers the other swimmer must not, in no circumstance, continue without the support boat.
  6. The minimum age of all swimmers at the date of the swim is 13 years, in accordance with WA Swimming and Swimming Australia rules.
    • 13-year-olds can only compete in duo and team events of the Port to Pub, and must have parental or guardian consent to take part in the event found in the waiver section of the registration form, and on the Port to Pub website.
    • Solo swimmers must be at least 14 years old, and have parental or guardian consent to take part in the event.
    • All swimmers under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian consent to participate in the event. All solo swimmers must have completed the qualifying standards.
  7. Swimmers and paddlers must be accompanied by a support boat. For solo and 25km ultra-marathon swimmers, a paddler each is compulsory. Stand up paddle boards are not allowed.
  8. All swimmers must have their race number on their arms for the event. Number tattoos are provided through your registration in your competitor bags received at the briefing event.
  9. You must be officially registered to swim the Port to Pub and 25km ultra-marathon swims. Failure to adhere to this rule, will result in a two-year ban from the event.
  10. 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 the official swim time.
  11. Swimmers must wear their dedicated Port to Pub swim cap at all times throughout the event. 25km may not wear double cap.
  12. Artificial propulsion devices are not to be used, nor any flotation devices. Gloves and socks including, but not limited to, compression socks are not to be worn.
  13. Swimmers are not permitted to receive any form of assistance during the swim, including drafting or holding on to an escort boat or another swimmer. This applies to the active swimmer of a duo and team, and all solo swimmers.
  14. The Port to Pub swim will have 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:

  1. It is of a woven textile material.
  2. Does not cover the neck.
  3. Does not extend beyond the shoulders or ankles.
  4. 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:

  1. Wear any item with neoprene or any other buoyant material.
  2. Wear anything not within the FINA rules or within the Port to Pub exemptions.
  3. Wear various types of inner or outer ear headphones.
  4. Wear a watch.

Swimmers may:

  1. Wear two suits as long one suit only comprises of a brief or bikini.
  2. Use Wool Fat/Lanolin/Vasoline.
  3. Wear goggles.
  4. Wear a nose clip.
  5. Wear two caps (except for 25km) as long as the outer cap is the Port to Pub cap to show swimmers category.
  6. Wear ear plugs.
  7. Wear a rash vest.

Assisted Category

  1. Wetsuits must be no thicker than 5mm.
  2. Race numbers must be written on race swim cap.
  3. All of the components of the wetsuit must fit the swimmer’s body tightly.
  4. May wear a brief or bikini underneath the wetsuit
  5. May use Wool Fat/Lanolin/Vasoline
  6. May wear goggles
  7. May wear two caps as long as outer cap is the Port to Pub category cap
  8. May wear a nose clip
  9. May wear ear plugs
  10. May wear a watch
  11. If only one team member wears a wetsuit, the team is still categorised as ASSISTED.
  12. Solo swimmers that swim with a wetsuit will be recorded in the ASSISTED SOLO category.
  13. ASSISTED swimmers will not be competing against UNASSISTED for prizes and/or records. They will not be eligible for Port to Pub or RCS number plates.​ ​​
  14. 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.

Event Rules (Part B)

  1. Each swimmer indemnifies and holds harmless the Port to Pub Pty Ltd and its agents, officials, contractors and volunteers, the Port to Pub committee, the Department of Transport, Fremantle Port Authority, Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue, Rottnest Island Authority, Fremantle Surf Lifesaving Club, Floreat Lifesaving Club and their officers and swim officials against any claim for damages or injury arising from conduct of the swim.
  2. 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 swim.
  3. 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.
  4. The start of the event will be signalled by bell or other starting device. Count-down to the start will commence 5 minutes before the allocated time by the event starter. It is the responsibility of the swimmer to ensure their support boat is on time.
  5. Swimmers will swim alone in the starting channel for the first 500 metres. They must meet their paddler around the 500m buoy and may then continue to the 1000 metre buoy where they meet their support boat. 25km swimmers will meet their paddler at the 25km turn buoy 1&3.
  6. No duo or team member swimmer changeovers are to take place in the first 1000 metres for safety reasons unless the swimmer is in distress and requires assistance.
  7. If a swimmer is unaccompanied by their support boat the 1500 metre mark (TAMS tug boat),  they are instructed to swim to the moored TAMS tug boat and tread water. Port to Pub staff will contact swim base to notify them of your location and that you are awaiting support vessel.  Swimmers may re-enter the event on the arrival of their boat. Swimmers may tread water for 20 minutes and, if no support boat arrives the swimmer must withdraw from the event and return to the beach.
  8. If a support boat has not located its swimmer by the 1500 metre mark (TAMS Tug), the boat skipper must advise Swim Base by marine radio (VHF CH74) and await further instructions.
  9. Paddlers must not proceed beyond the 1500 metre mark (TAMS Tug Boat) without their support vessel and swimmer.
  10. During swimmer changeover, swimmers will tag at least 10 metres from the support boat in a visible manner (above water surface).
  11. In the case of a shark sighting, the support boat skipper MUST report the sighting immediately to race radio on Channel 74. Once ratified, the Race Director may instruct all swimmers in a designated (1km) radius of the sighting to exit the water. If this happens, the affect vessels are to remain in their location 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, you can remain in the water but do so at your own risk. If you leave the water, your swim will be regarded as abandoned / aborted in line with FINA rules and will not be recorded as an official solo crossing. If you choose to stay in the water, you and your support boat must remain stationary until the Race Director declares the zone clear and the race back underway.
  12. 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.
  13. Swimmers must enter Thomson Bay between the 18km orange buoy and Phillip Rock.
  14. Any protest regarding competitors conduct or race rules must be lodged in writing to the Race Director by 4:00pm on race day. A decision will be made by the committee in accordance to the Port to Pub event rules, based on any evidence given and the judgment of the officials.
  15. 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.

Supported Vessels/Skippers

  1. On the event day, skippers must have a working VHF Radio tuned to channel 74 and have also registered their mobile phone number with Port to Pub to allow Port to Pub officials to contact them during the event if required.
  2. Skippers must have a valid Recreational Skipper qualification. The support vessel must be equipped with all required mandatory marine safety and emergency equipment. The boat stickers supplied showing their swimmer/s race number must be displayed on either side of vessel and visible.
  3. It is recommended support vessels be 5-12 metres in length, the support vessel must to be licenced to carry all passengers this includes a skipper, paddler, water craft, spotter, support crew, swimmer/s. 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. Anything over that size is required to be registered. Tenders also need to carry necessary safety equipment, including a marine radio. It is the skipper’s responsibility to make themselves aware of the regulations and requirements related to travelling to Rottnest Island. (See www.dot.wa.gov.au).
  4. 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 you need 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).
  5. For solos swimmers, a support vessel may support two swimmers but must comply with the following rules:
    • Swimmers need to swim in close proximity to each other and at a similar pace – proximity is no greater than 20 metres in distance.
    • Each swimmer must have its own paddler. You must stay with the slowest swimmer, and swimmers must be aware this could affect their overall race time.
    • If a swimmer is injured or needs assistance, both swimmers must stop. 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.
  6. Support vessels must display race number stickers supplied in the briefing pack. All vessels are to be registered in accordance with Navigable Waters Regulations 1958 and carry all required equipment to make a successful journey to Rottnest Island and back to Perth mainland.
  7. All boats need to keep within an 8-knot speed limit and stay ~10 metres from their (slowest swimmer if supporting two solo swimmers) swimmer. Boats withdrawing from the event must be at least 200 metres from the race channel and main fleet before increasing speed past 8 knots.
  8. 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.
  9. Vessels with twin outboard motors must ensure their engines are switched off entirely during swimmer exchange.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. If a commercial vessel crosses the race course, an official boat will order the swimmers to stop and tread water until the danger has passed and continue the event. Swimmers will not be disqualified.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 the 1000m from the start line is a support boat exclusion zone.
  15. No alcohol is to be consumed during the event by swimmers or support crew.
  16. All support boats that are 10 metres or longer are required to:
    • stay on the extremities of the fleet at all times (north or south) but remain south of the northern boundary.
    • use a registered tender
    • exit the swim course at the 18km gate (Phillip Rock). This means the swimmer will finish their 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 this final 1.7kms for swimmer safety.
  17. 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.

Support boats that are less than 10 metres in length must leave the swim course no later than the 19km gate. Between 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. 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.


  1. Paddlers must display race number stickers supplied in briefing pack on the front of the paddle craft.
  2. Support paddlers are to assemble at the buoys 500 metres offshore five minutes prior to wave start.
  3. Paddlers will exit at the final 400 metre mark unless supporting a 19.7km or 25km solo swimmer, whereby you are required to support that swimmer to shore. 19.7km solos without a paddler swim the final 400m by themselves. There is a water safety team in place at this point.
  4. 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.
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