Smith’s Rotto rally call

Rebecca Smith and her dad Terry discuss her Rottnest return swim attempt.
Rebecca Smith and her dad Terry discuss her Rottnest return swim attempt.

Smith (44) is swimming the 40km round trip swim from Cottesloe to Rottnest Island to raise money for the animal charity Free the Bears.

Smith said she was passionate about animals and swimming and that the pain and suffering that countless bears faced daily was horrendous.

‘In the overall scheme of things, the mental challenges and toughness required for the swim are quite small compared to the living conditions they face,’ she said.

After seeing a documentary about bears in South-East Asia being brutally mutilated, Smith decided to follow in Free the Bears founder Mary Hutton’s footsteps and make a difference.

‘I have raised over $4000 to date, but really want to generate greater exposure to this cause,’ she said.

With guidance from father Terry and skipper Paul Luscombe, Smith will start her swim on March 15 at 3am alongside a big support team.

‘Overall the whole swim will take between 15 and 18 hours,’ she said.

‘We need to invest in certain infrastructure like fluoro kayak paddles and ensure that factors such as sharks and wind are accounted for.’

Smith maintains an arduous training regime, with a balance of ocean and pool swimming at least five days a week. Despite four successful Rottnest Channel Swim appearances, Smith has never swum more than 20km at once.

‘The challenges for this event are going to be huge, but the support of my team is priceless,’ she said.

Visit http://give.everydayhero.|com/au/Rebecca-s-double-rottnest-crossing.