Role of Paddler
It is highly recommended that each solo, duo and team have a paddler. it is a long day on the water, so it advisable that each entry considers having a back up paddler on the boat to relieve the main paddler.
Paddlers greatly assist swimmers in finding their support boat at the start line, when again visibility of the swimmer in the water is not as easy to identify/locate as te paddler is. The idea is for the swimmer to locate the paddler, and the paddler will locate the support boat.
Given their size, paddlers can remain much closer to swimmers than support boats. This increases visibility for others on the water. Although swimmers can not be supported by any artificial aids, paddlers can also assist in distributing food and water to the swimmer.
Paddlers are also supportive in the finish channel, particulary after the 19km buoy, at which point the support boat must depart from the swimmer. The paddler can continue with the swimmer for a further 250m (departing at the 19.25km buoys) leaving the swimmer safely at the entrace to the 400m siwm channel.
Swimmers seeking a paddler can contact or advertise at local surf clubs (Fremantle SLSC, Cottesloe SLSC, North Cottesloe SLSC, Swanbourne SLSC) and/or post a notice on the Rottnest Channel Swim Association Forum as paddlers regularly check this page if they are interested in assisting swimmers in the event.