The Doctor 2017
November 20, 2017
The Doctor RESULTS
November 25, 2017
Show all

The Doctor Final Event Information

*** Please ensure you bring to registration on Friday your lifejacket, safety leash and flare to be checked. A hi-vis event hat will be provided. Please ensure they meet the requirements.  

The Doctor 2017

The Doctor is now in its 17th year.  We would like to thank all that have helped to make this the biggest ocean paddling race in the world especially the sponsors of the event. We are on track to see around 400 competitors on the line, among them some of the best ocean athletes on the planet. We have enlisted the support of Northport Marine feel very secure in the knowledge that they will be able to handle all safety aspects of the event.

When on the water it is important to obey the instructions of the safety personnel and government vessels on the course. Ensure you keep your eyes open as commercial shipping operations will not cease during the event. The container ships have right of way at all times.  It is also important to look after each other, it’s only 27km from Rottnest to the mainland but when you are in trouble it feels like a thousand kilometres.  

When on Rottnest we ask that you please not leave any mess on the Island. Rottnest Island Authority has been very accommodating to us and it is important that we leave it as we find it.

We strongly recommend you download the Road Id App and try and make sure the numbers you put into it are for someone on the beach as they will be able to let us know if there is an issue. It is free and very easy to use. More info below.

We are doing everything we can to make this event as smooth as possible for all involved so if you get the chance please be there for the loading and unloading of trailers and barges etc. as this make the whole event run a lot better.

Private Escort Boats

If you have a private escort boat following the race you must notify us of the vessel name, type, name and mobile phone number of the skipper as soon as you can. All private escort boats must be operated by registered certified skippers and abide by all WA boating rules and regulations. They must monitor VHF 72 during the race. They can also use the event contact number if required 0418 902 735 Email

Preferred Early Starters

This year we are introducing an earlier start for paddlers that feel they will be bringing up the rear of the main start. We will take up to 30 paddlers in this start so you will need to let us know after the briefing at the Surf Club or while doing your rego this afternoon.

If you are at all nervous about the event we strongly recommend you take up this option. This start will go about 30 minutes before the main start and in between the SUPs and Ladies start. This start is Wave 2.

Event Contact Numbers

We strongly recommend taking a mobile phone in a waterproof case with the event contact numbers stored.

Event number and pull outs: 0414 45 46 48 – If you register on Friday and then decided not to race on Saturday you must notify us that you are pulling out. 

Safety Equipment & Rules

Scrutineering of equipment will take place both at registration on Friday and on Rottnest Island on Saturday during check-in. You must bring to registration on Friday your lifejacket, safety leash and flare. A HI-VIS event hat will be provided.  These will be tagged on Friday and then checked again on Saturday on Rottnest. Marine Safety officials will also be present on Rottnest and will be doing checks. Any competitor that does not have the correct safety equipment will be disqualified and unable to race.

Mandatory Equipment list:

  • Lifejackets – All competitors must wear an approved Australian Standard AS 4758 or International Standard ISO 12402 Lifejacket.
    • All surf ski, outrigger, plastic and sea kayak paddlers must wear an approved minimum Level 50 Lifejacket (Hi-Vis recommended). An approved Level 50S Lifejacket will only be permitted with a Hi-Vis shirt over the top. No black or dull colour lifejackets will be permitted. No bum bag inflatable lifejackets are permitted.
    • SUP and prone paddleboard paddlers only are permitted to wear an approved Lifejacket Level 100/150 bum bag inflatable lifejacket.
  • Safety Leash – All competitors must be attached to their craft via a safety leash.
  • Hi-Vis Item – All competitors must wear a piece of Hi-Vis clothing – this can be a Hi-Vis lifejacket or hat. 
  • Flare – All competitors must have at least one current or unexpired orange smoke flare attached to their craft/person. 
  • Timing Chip – All competitors must wear the electronic timing chip on their ankle (right or left ankle). This will be provided at registration.

We strongly  recommended a mobile phone, water, sun protection and the use of the Road ID App. 

Rules: Please ensure you are familiar with the Rules of the event. 

Barge Loading – Transport of your craft to Rottnest Island

The craft will be loaded from 2.30pm onwards on Friday 24/11/17 at Pelagic Marine Services at 24 Rous Head Rd, North Fremantle (same location as last year). Please DO NOT turn up before 2.30pm as we will not be ready. We expect to be finished loading by 5.00pm to get back to the final event briefing at Sorrento Surf Club at 6.30pm. 

Please bring 2 straps or a pieces of rope to secure your craft to the racks. Be aware that it might be difficult to get the strap or rope back so use older ones if possible. All rudders must be removed prior to loading. 

You must have pre-booked craft transport when entering online. Craft that are not booked and arrive at the loading on Friday will be charged an additional $20 and will have to wait until the last booked craft are loaded to ensure we have space and will not be guaranteed a spot.

Registration & Race Briefing at Sorrento Beach SLSC

Registrations at Sorrento SLSC will open from 12 midday on Friday with a final compulsory race briefing at 6.30pm. This will enable you to register, drop your craft off to the barge and get back to the briefing at 6.30pm.

Please bring to registration your mandatory equipment (lifejacket, safety leash and flare) to be checked and tagged. A HI-VIS event hat sponsored by Shaw and Partners will be provided at registration to all competitors and we ask that you wear this in the race. Your equipment will be scrutineered (checked and tagged) and will be checked again over on Rottnest Island when you do race check-in. 

Dinner available at Sorrento SLSC

Food and drinks will be available on both Friday and Saturday nights at the surf club. Friday night will be a pasta, salad and garlic bread buffet for $20.  Saturday night will be the ‘Doctor Burger’ for $10 along with hot buckets of chips for $3.50

Ferry to Rottnest – Saturday morning

Rottnest Fast Ferries departs Hillarys Marina at 7.30am & 8.00am. Do NOT book the 10am ferry as you may be at risk of missing the race as the race could start anytime. You must also be there early to get your own craft off the barge.

Book online here events/the-doctor/ferry-info/  or by calling 08 9246 1039 and mention you are a competitor in The Doctor to get the special rate.

Take as little as possible over to Rottnest because we have no way of getting your bags back to the mainland. Don’t forget rudders, paddle, timing chip, race hat, lifejacket, leashes, flare and sponsor stickers to be put on your craft.

When you arrive on Rottnest we will need assistance to unload the barge that will be at the main jetty when you arrive.

Once all craft is unloaded and rudders are put on the craft please make your way over to Army Jetty. Army Jetty is located one kilometre South of the main Ferry Jetty at Thompson Bay.

ROAD ID Safety App

We strongly recommend the use of ROAD ID APP in The Doctor. Your friends and family will be able to track you during the race and if they are ever concerned to make contact with an event safety official.

This app is super easy to use and has a feature called eCrumb which tracks your workout in real time allowing your friends and family to know exactly where you are. In addition, there is a stationary alert function which will SMS or email your notify contacts if you remain stationary for more than 5 minutes.

Tip – Make sure your ‘notify contacts’ have +61 in front of the mobile number so the SMS messages can be received.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE ROAD ID APP.  Available on both Apple Store and Google Play.

Check in on Rottnest Island

As per previous years, we will be doing race check-in on Rottnest Island. This will be done at Army Jetty located about 1km south of the main ferry jetty at Thompson Bay.

This means that all competitors need to be formally checked into the race and timing system by officials. This is an important safety requirement so we know exactly who is out on the course.

Check-in will take place in start wave order as listed below.

Briefing on Rottnest & Start Waves

The briefing will take place at the Army Jetty. There will be four start waves. The start times will be advised at the briefing.

  • Wave 1: SUPs, Paddleboards, Plastic and Sea Kayaks
  • Wave 2: Preferred early starters (see note above)
  • Wave 3: OC1s and ladies skis
  • Wave 4: All other categories


The Course

The course at this stage will be the traditional course starting at the Army Jetty turning left around the marker at Phillip Rock then keeping to the south of the Centaur Marker directly west of Trigg and making your way to Sorrento Beach. At this point, there will be no additional buoys on the course.

The ASN Hot Spot will be the first male and female ski paddler to the marker at Phillip Rock.

Please ensure you follow the direction of safety officials at all times. Make sure you keep your eyes open as commercial shipping operations will not cease during the event and you must give may to the larger vessels at all times.  

This season if you pass in front of a vessel you will be DQed. If you are within 100 meters of the side of a vessel you will be DQed.

Make sure you alter your course early to  pass behind the ships. The ships speed is deceptive so chances are they will be upon you a lot quicker than you think.


Presentations at Sorrento Beach SLSC

Presentations will be at approx. 6.30pm on Saturday evening. There will be food and drink available at the surf club.

Event Contacts

  • Event Number during race: 0418 902 735
  • Race Director, Dean Gardiner 0427 171 403
  • Pull outs prior to event, Yanda Morison 0414 454 648

Event Updates
Please check the website for updates and the Program Page.

Good luck to all competitors. 

The Doctor is proudly sponsored by: