Support Boats

Every swimmer, including Solo’s, Duo’s and Teams, require a Support Boat to participate.

It is important that you select a boat that can legally carry you and your team members and/or support crew (if any).

We will be compiling a list of skippers who have boats available, so please contact us if you need help finding a support boat and skipper.



Selecting a Suitable Boat

It is the responsibility of the Skipper to make sure the boat is suitable and capable of making the journey from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise, then on to the nearest boat ramp (approx 30km).

It is also the Skipper’s responsibility to determine the exact number of people permitted onboard for a safe voyage using Queensland Government guidelines. Your swimmer in the water should be included in the total number of passengers.  The boat’s capacity is often displayed on the Australian Builder’s Plate.


Minimum Requirements

The distance and duration of the swim, along with the offshore course, means that many smaller boats (under 4.5m) are not suitable.

This includes any boat with a hand-operated outboard motor, or less than 4.5m in length which has a ‘Basic Flotation’ classification, for example ‘tinnies’, which are easily capsized.

Please note, Jetski’s are not permitted to participate in the event, either as support boats or assisting support boats.

If you would like to inquire about the suitability of a specific boat, please email World Series Swims at


Surf Club IRBs

Surf Club IRBs are approved to participate, however only as Support Boats for Solo swimmers and Tandem Solo swimmers.

Duo Teams are also permitted to use IRBs as Support Boats, but only if both members have a current IRB proficiency award.

NB: An IRB does not have the legal capacity to carry teams plus their Skipper.

Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs) must meet the following conditions of entry:

  • IRBs must carry enough fuel on-board for the entire duration of the event (EG: a spare fuel bladder). They cannot exit the course to refuel or have another boat meet them to deliver fuel – they must be self-sufficient for the entire duration of the swim.
  • IRBs must assemble in the same location and depart the course at the same location as all other Support Boats. There are no exceptions for IRB skippers.
  • IRB Skippers must agree to and follow the same Code of Conduct as all other vessels. This includes carrying all marine safety and emergency equipment as required by Queensland Government boating regulations – they are subject to the same spot checks while participating
  • Your supporters cannot travel in an IRB, unless they are qualified, so only the Skipper of the IRB can support you and provide feeding etc

A Booking Form for an IRB is now available below.  Please note, the form is free to complete, then your donation is due within 7 days.  Your booking will be released if your donation is not received.

IRB Bookings close at 5:00pm on April 29, 2022.




Things to Consider

  • Support Boats need to be in position AT LEAST 15 minutes before their swimmers Wave Start (Solo 6:45am, Duo 7:30am, Teams 750am) and the journey from the Seaworld Drive Boat Ramp is approx 25km
  • Every skipper and paddler must attend a Safety Briefing before the event.  If you are chartering a vessel, the Skipper of that vessel will also need to attend
  • Your swimming speed will determine how long you will be in the water with your Support Boat. Consider this time-frame when planning your day with your Skipper
  • There is no boat ramp at Surfers Paradise where you finish (it’s a surf beach), so your Skipper will depart for their preferred exit ramp when you reach the Finish Lane (final 400m)
  • Team members have the option of swimming the final 400m together (we recommend it!) or staying onboard and returning to the Boat Ramp


Boat Ramps

The Seaworld Drive Boat Ramps are the recommended ramps to launch your Support Boats, given their proximity to Surfers Paradise where the event will finish. They also have ample parking space.

  • Address: Muriel Henchman Dr, Main Beach QLD 4217

The journey from Southport to the Offshore Waiting Zone off Coolangatta Beach is approx 30km, so please consider this distance and time required to make this journey if you are launching at Southport.

Support Boats are welcome to launch at any Boat Ramp.  Below is a map of locations for reference:




A bus service will run between the Southport Spit Boat Ramp and the finish at Surfers Paradise Beach (Hanlan St).

This free service is designed to transport Skippers and / or team members who exit at Southport, to meet their swimmers at the finish line as soon as possible.

Buses will run continuously from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. No bookings are required.


Event Partners