The Dart 10k was the first, and is arguably the finest, 10k swim on the open water calendar and 2019 is its tenth year. It has grown from 200 swimmers to 1600. The course of the Dart 10K is a unique journey punctuated by landmarks such as the Cormorant Tree, the white rock, Sharpham boat house and Bow Creek. It’s supported by volunteers from the local and swimming community who make it special. It’s not a race – we have some fantastic and some very fast swimmers, we have skin swimmers, disabled swimmers, newbies, butterfly swimmers – but whatever the level, the language of the day is different. It’s a journey, not a race, and there’s room for everyone in the river.
Swimmers start in one of four speed waves which you will select at the time of booking. You will initially swim with others the same pace as you. Whatever wave you start in though, most swimmers arrive around the same time as the waves blend together towards the end of the swim.
Swimmers will be notified of their swim times (make sure your mobile number is correct when you register).
This is a morning swim, with registration packs delivered to you by post in advance. You will need to plan to arrive early morning on the day of your swim.
Entries are allocated by ballot. 2019 entries have now been allocated, but the ballot for 2020 entries will open in late 2019. You can still join the event in 2019 as a volunteer, and thus guarantee your 2020 ticket.
Volunteering slots are always oversubscribed, and are offered to returning volunteers first. By joining the #OSSteam at 2019’s event, the rewards include free meals, merchandise, and guaranteed early-bird access to event tickets. If you or your supporters would like to be involved in 2019, please read this Dart 10k volunteering factsheet; we look forward to hearing from you.
We have worked with a remarkable professional safety team since the start of the Dart that keep you safe every step of the way. Swimmers are flanked by professionally qualified employed lifeguards throughout the swim. There are two feeding stations on route with drinks and jelly babies, at around 4km and 8km.
There are a range of food stalls at the start and as the swim finishes on the village green at Dittisham with food and entertainment including; a photo booth; local singers; and a children’s playground at the Ham. With deck chairs available to admire the view, supporters can anticipate the arrival of swimmers in comfort. Food, a bar, and entertainment on the Ham is available all day for supporters.
All swimmers will need to be acclimatised to outdoor swim temperatures by the day, and to have experience of chop and open water. See our guides to swimming outdoors and training programmes.
The swim is for over 16s. If under 18 you must have parental consent.
This is an A to B swim, starting at Longmarsh Totnes and finishing at Dittisham Ham. It draws many supporters as well as swimmers, and we cater for them with food and entertainment. We offer coaches to spectators (with paid prebooking) as well as swimmers (free, prebooking not required) to enable car free weekends.
If you are bringing a car your choices are to park at Totnes, the event start, and then take a coach back to the start after your swim. Or to park at Cott Farm in Dittisham, the event finish, and take a coach up to the start before your swim. Please note Devon roads are windy and slow, and the carpark at Cott Farm, Dittisham is a steep 800m walk from the event finish on the Ham. Coaches drop closer to the finish in Dittisham, which may make parking in Totnes a preferable choice if you (or your supporters) don’t fancy the steep 800m walk. There is very limited disabled parking at the Dittishgasm Ham (please contact the event manager) but it is not possible for event traffic other than these ticket holders to enter the village for drop offs.
Swimmers are free to raise money for any charity (or none), and this year we are delighted to partner with Level Water as our primary event partner charity.
Level Water is a young and fast growing charity who’s fortunes were changed overnight by involvement in the Dart10k. The charity provides one-to-one swimming lessons for disabled children across the country. “We teach them the basics then help them to join mainstream lessons and competitive clubs.
A direct beneficiary of the Dart10k is the Outdoor Swimming Society, who raises funds through the event for it’s public-facing work in outdoor swimming throughout the year. The Outdoor Swimming Society is run as a social enterprise or not for profit. Just by entering you are supporting us. If you want to get sponsored to swim for us you can ask people donate to you via paypal, or just collect donations and send a cheque. Please contact the event manager for details firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dart10k is a wetsuit event. All tickets are sold on the basis that participants will wear full length swimming wetsuits (or full length sleeveless wetsuit).
Your wetsuit must cover you from shoulders to below the knee, be made of neoprene and be designed for swimming / triathlon / swim-run (i.e. not scuba diving or surfing).
Skin swimmers are welcome but must apply for a skin swimming pass before 25th July here. Applications are vetted by the event director and decisions are non-negotiable. If you don’t get a pass and don’t want to swim in a wetsuit you can transfer your ticket to a friend – but the cut off for this is 31st July so please don’t leave it to the last minute!
Most people swim front crawl, but we have had swimmers do the 10k butterfly and breaststroke. Breaststroke is not generally recommended because it’s hard on the knees to swim this distance in a wetsuit.
We welcome and can generally accommodate swimmers with physical disabilities who would like to swim. It is essential that those with disabilities, or any concern about their ability to take part in this event, should seek their doctor’s advice before taking part and email the event manager prior to registration. Swimmers will be accommodated within the existing water safety provision wherever reasonable adjustments are possible (no separate arrangements can be made).
OSS events are tow-float free. We have ample safety cover who watch swimmers via their brightly coloured hats. Tow floats makes sighting swimmers harder, by doubling the number of brightly coloured objects in the water, and may entangle other swimmers. It is sometimes stated that tow floats make retrieving an unconscious swimmer easier, however they are not tested or rated to act as a safety device in this way.
There are feeding stations at the 4km and 8km marks where you can top up on water and energy. These stations carry water, bananas, jelly babies and flapjack. Snorkels and fins are not permitted as the hard edges risk injuring other swimmers at the swim start in particular. Most swimmers with personal medication tuck it up the sleeve of their wetsuit. If this doesn’t cover your needs and you want to use a tow float for the purpose please contact the event manager.
If you are not able to use your ticket for any reason (including medical, or factors outside of your control) your only option is to give/sell it to a friend in the transfer window, which will run from the day tickets sell out until 31st July deadline. There is a fee to transfer a ticket, and it is organised by the recipient of the transfer visiting the ticket page and paying £20 for a “Dart 10k 2019 ticket transfer”. After 31 July, your ticket is yours to keep and no transfers are possible. If tickets do not sell out, transfers will not be offered.
Please note that should the event be cancelled due to extreme conditions which includes, but is not limited to, high winds and heavy rain impeding the view of the swimmers by the safety cover on the day, or unexpected pollution in the water, no refunds will be given. Taking out event insurance that would allow refunds or a replacement event in this unlikely situation would add significantly to the ticket price and the view has been taken that it is better to have a lower ticket price and small risk. Please see our Event Terms for more information.
Insurance against extreme weather cancellation is possible to buy separately, for example through your travel insurance or specialist ticket insurance policies. Alternatively you can accept the small risk of not getting a refund in the case of event cancellation.
A huge thank you for the continued support of our sponsors:
Our thanks go to Dittisham Council, Totnes Council, Dittisham Sailing Club and many individuals and local groups for their support.
Standard swim entries and volunteer-swim entries are sold out