The annual 2023 South32 Rottnest Channel Swim, which started in 1956, has become an iconic fixture on the Western Australian open water calendar.
The swim began in the early hours of Saturday morning, with swimmers setting off from Cottesloe Beach to begin the 19.7km stretch. Conditions were ideal for the swim, making for a fast and comfortable race.
Queenslander, Bailey Armstrong was the first male soloist to cross the finish line and closely following him to take out second place was North Coast’s Kyle Lee (c: Ian Mills) with a record-breaking time of three hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds.
Westside Christchurch swimmers, Byron Kimber and Max Coten (c: Jon Harrison) also broke the record for fastest solo male coming in third and fourth respectively.
“I’m super stoked at the time,” said Kimber. “A lot better than the last time I did it and I felt a lot better the last 10km. I was sort of saving myself in the first 10km and yeah super stoked with that effort.”
Southlake Dolphin’s Hayden Ferguson (c: Sarah Scott) finished in fifth position with a time of four hours, 27 minutes and 42 seconds.
North Coast’s Chloe Truscott (c: Ian Mills) was the first female to cross the finish line with a record-breaking time of four hours, 14 minutes and 31 seconds. The three-time channel winner and record breaker said, “It’s so incredible. I’m a bit lost for words at the moment… I am super grateful for all the support.”
15-year-old rising star, Bianca Monaco from Westside Christchurch (c: Jon Harrison) was the third female to cross the line with a time of four hours, 19 minutes and 55 seconds also under the previous female record. The fourth and fifth female soloists to cross the line with North Coast’s Rosie Wilson (c: Ian Mills) and Westside Christchurch’s Josie Page (c: Jon Harrison) respectively.
The fastest duo crossing went the ‘The Hungry Boys’, consisting of North Coast’s teammates Jack Wilson and Kaiden Richings, with a time of three hours, 42 minutes and 33 seconds, beating the previous record time. ‘Browntown Boys’ claimed second male duos, consisting of North Coast’s Rowan Brown and Westside Christchurch’s Dylan Burgess. The third male duos went to ‘Team Kiwi’, consisting of Andrew Roberts and Scott Shepherd.
The first mixed duos to cross the line was ‘Team Hewitt’, consisting of Charlie Hewitt and Open Water Swimming Series swimmer, Daisy Hewitt. ‘Jack And Marie’ was the second mixed duos, consisting of Bunbury’s Giacomo Lucivero and Marie-Eve Cigna. The third mixed duo to finish was ‘Flippin Fabulous’, consisting of Clancy Banfield and Westside Christchurch’s Isabelle Early.
The first female duo to finish was ‘Keiko Uno’, consisting of Jaime Bowler and Naomi Watters. ‘Cookie Monster’ was the second female duo, consisting of RenÚ Watson and North Coast’s Tully Graimes-Harrison. Finishing in third place for female duos was ‘Distance Dolphins’, consisting of Southside Penrhos Wesley’s Natasha Angelidis and Olivia Power.
Former UWA West Coast swimmer, Josh Edwards-Smith convinced his teammates from Griffith University to enter into the swim as a team. Olympics and Commonwealth Games swimmers, Mack Horton, Cody Simpson and Bowen Gough joined Edwards-Smith and were the first team to cross the finish line, achieving a record-breaking time of three hours, 33 minutes and 49 seconds.
St Hildas’s team of James Hansford, Maeve Mckenna, Taj Jones and Talara-Jade Dixon won the mixed category. Taking out the female team victory was ‘Cottfish’, consisting of St Hildas’s Rowan Brent-White, Piper Lloyd and Annabel Hurst and teammate Tara Kearns Flanagan.
The 2023 South32 Rottnest Channel Swim was a huge success! Congratulations to all the swimmers, support crew, officials and coaches involved. We are already looking forward to next year’s event.
Want to see the full results from the 2023 South32 Rottnest Channel Swim? Click here.