WESTERN AUSTRALIA. As the swimsuit controversy continues to swirl in both the pool and open water swimming worlds, it is interesting to note how the Rottnest Channel Swim reasonably handles its particular circumstances in Western Australia vis-a-vis the venomous stingers that populate the Australian waters.

In 2010, the Rottnest Channel Swim Association Committee amended its by-laws that governs the use of swim wear and artificial swimming aids. The relevant by-law reads as follows:

In any Rottnest Channel Swim, no swimmer shall use or be assisted by artificial aids of any manner. Swimmers are permitted to grease the body before a swim, use goggles, wear a maximum of two caps, nose clip and earplugs. Swimmers must wear one bathing suit that does not contain neoprene, rubber or any other material that aids buoyancy and complies with FINA’s Rules for Open Water Swimming with the exception that until 28 February 2012 the bathing suit may be a swim skin of any brand, or the pointzero3 or nero swim suit made by blueseventy. In addition to one bathing suit that complies with this rule, swimmers may wear one rash vest or stinger suit made of porous textile material (such as nylon or lycra), which does not extend beyond the ankles, the neck or the wrist.

The stingers are box jellyfish that are known for its extremely potent venom and extraordinarily painful stings. Repeated exposure to jellyfish can make some have even more severe reactions in the future.

The 2012 HBF Rottnest Channel Swim will be held on Saturday February 25th.

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