However, the 24-year-old and his partner Heidi Gan were the first duo across the line in a mixed duo record time of 4 hours, 8 minutes and 11 seconds.
Huitenga qualified for the Australian team for the July World Championships in Barcelona after finishing second behind UWA Uniswim’s Rhys Mainstone ” who pulled out of the Rottnest crossing a few weeks ago ” in the 10km open water event at the recent National Championships.
Huitenga said competing in the 19.7km annual crossing was just a bonus for him and he entered only because it was after the nationals this year.
‘For nationals, the goal was to make the Australian team and go to Barcelona for the World Championships, so Rottnest is a bit of a bonus,’ he said
‘The nationals are a lot harder and there’s more pressure because it’s more individual, but doing this is a lot of fun.’
Huitenga, Gan and solo winner Jeremy Brooke-Smith train together at the Perth City Swimming Club.
‘We’re stoked he got the win,’ Huitenga said.