What’s in a name? (Rottnest Swim 2015)


As I begin this piece the first wave of Rottnest Swim competitors are entering the water at Cottesloe beach and beginning the 19.7 kilometre swim to Rottnest. The swim challenges swimmers fitness, mental toughness and the ability to eat a banana while floating on your back. I’ve followed this race for many years and this year I think I’ve worked out a secret weapon.


Thanks to Rottnest Channel Swim


Since the race began with a bunch of mates taking on the ocean in 1991 the number of entrants has risen exponentially, so much so that there’s now a finite number of solo and team swimmers allowed in the race.

To be able to enter as a team you need a boat crew and a paddler. While the boat will linger out the back the paddler is tasked with finding you amongst the start line frenzy, after your identifying helium balloon breaks free from your bathers strap. The paddler will also stay by your side handing over food and water all day. Lets’ see there was something else a team needs what was it? Oh that’s right at least one person mad enough wake up at 4am and decide to swim the shark infested waters to a small island that can’t be seen from the mainland at that time of the morning.

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As a swimmer you will have completed months of training and endured chaffing, rashes, stingers, ear, neck, back pain and swimmers shoulder which evidently 30% of elite swimmers get while preparing. You’ll also develop a pathological interest in the weather.

You won’t even know exactly what time the event will begin as the start time is totally dependent on how mother nature feels on the day. If she wakes up with a high swell inducing headache the whole event could be cancelled.

In the time it’s taken me to research this piece solo swimmer Kane Radford has crossed the line in four hours twenty five minutes, meanwhile Rokeby Dental were the first team to flash their pearly whites at the finish line in 4 hours and eight minutes.

As I perused the results table I realised there’s one important aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked … the team name.

Of the 380 teams that finished Ada’s Gnocchis came in at just under four and a half hours and The Muffin Tops at 5:44, well the training manual did herald the benefit of carbs. The Three Little Pigs enlisted a friend and made it in five hours, as did Sink Or Swim who clearly beat the odds.

At six hours the aptly named Monday 5.30am Again showed the benefits of having the start time in your title as a reminder. Also there were Do We Look Like Seals? who were clearly thankful that the local sharks answered this question in the negative. They were followed in by the educational Fridges Don’t Float.

As the clock approached seven hours Missed The Ferry showed the importance of actually making the ferry. The boat crew for Living On A Prayer were finally able to get off their knees. Legally Insane proved that sometimes our legal system gets it right and if not for the foresight of the 4 pool noodles, the Beardo Sapiens could have set our species back several decades.

At seven and a half hours Have A Crack wondered if they should have, as they set foot on the sand flanked by You Gotta Be Kidding, Scrambled Legs and Floating Sponges who quickly phoned their cousin Sponge Bob after they got dressed. Shark Bait also made it to shore which was a concern for the rest of the stragglers, but at least Team Undies was no longer amongst them.

The spectators were soon educated that Baby Pandas Like To Swim and Pigs Do Swim. At eight hours the Dirty Monkeys could finally rinse off the Floating Debris that came in with them, which made For Fox Sake sigh with relief.

Ironically Team Number Won was the last team to make the cut coming in at nine hours and fifty one minutes, just beating Endolpins who were feeling a bit low, and Where’s Richard? not to be confused with Who’s Bruce? who’d arrived three hours earlier.

It’s got to be said that Walk on Water came in looking rather bewildered at seven and half hours.

Out Of Our Depth clearly were, as they made it onto the Did Not Finish list, along with Hairy Ones who should have been handicapped for the amount of drag their genes created, and No Blow Up Dolls who I believe are rethinking their strategy for next year. Are We There Yet are still waiting for an answer and Slow Clap are lamenting not using their GPS. Nuckingfuts were last seen in the pub saying ‘I told you so’. Oh and if anyone comes across Another Dimension could they please let the organisers know.

For we more physically challenged land lovers I believe there is a Virtual Rottnest Swim which sounded great until I read that it involves swimming the same distance in a swimming pool, and not wandering about the house waving your arms in the air like you just don’t care.

Congratulations to all those who entered you are an inspiration and good luck for next year, especially the mysterious team simply named 5. For more information about the swim go to Rottnest Swim




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