Rotorua's Kane Radford has won the prestigious Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim in Perth.

The Rottnest Channel Swim is a 19.7km open water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island.

It was the 25th staging of the event on Saturday, attracting about 2400 swimmers.

Radford, the New Zealand 10km open water champion, who has been based in Perth for two years, was the first to reach the island in a time of 4hr 25min.

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He said the conditions in the water were "like four hours in a washing machine".

"It was definitely more of a mental game. I'm just glad to be ashore," the 24-year-old said.

Radford is a professional open water swimmer and is aiming to compete in the 10km open water event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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