With the Rottnest Island Channel Swim fast approaching, we are excited to announce that LLC Manager Richard Duke will be returning to the water as a paddler for the event.
Richard has participated as a paddler in this event for many years. As a paddler, Richard is responsible for providing food and water to the swimmers, while also assisting with directing the swimmer/s throughout the event. Richard will also monitor the health and state of mind of the swimmers and be the main point of contact between the support boat and the swimmer.
Find out more about Richard's story below:
My involvement with the Rottnest Channel Swim started in 2000 when I paddled to accompany and support my brother-in-law swimming solo. He was a top 4 finisher so fortunately the time on the water was less than 4 and half hours.
The next opportunity to paddle the Channel came in 2009. My children attended Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School and the swim coach Bob Marshall and the school had a strong history with the swim to Rottnest, so with both my children being swimmers, I was destined again to put my hand up to work with the school in the build-up and practice with the schools teams and the successful crossing each February. This year the Grammar school celebrates a 25 year continuous commitment to the event and I have paddled or supported the crossing every year since 2009.
Over the years I have paddled for all categories; Solo male, solo female, duo teams, teams of four male, mixed and girls (including my daughters team) and this year will be the final category - Tandem Solo. This category has two solo swimmers swimming at the same pace with one support boat and a paddler each. The swimmers this year are both former students of BCGS and have each swum a number of times in teams since leaving school.