Dart 10k

Sold Out. Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September, 2018

Graham Wynne
Enter Dart 10k

15/16th September 2018

The Dart 10k was the first, and is arguably the finest, 10k swim on the open water calendar and 2018 is its ninth 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.

All Dart 10k tickets are now sold outYou can still pay for your pack to be delivered by post, or order a spectator’s coach ticket below. For more options for those that missed out, please see this facebook post.

The day ends with good times! The swim finishes on the village green in Dittisham where there’s a mini-festival feel, with local food suppliers and a bar, a children’s playground, all the fun of the fair as swimmers celebrate. With deck chairs and a great view, supporters can wile away as many hours as it takes you to get there. Entertainment on the Ham starts from 11.50am Saturday and 12.30pm.

The Dart10k is supported by Alpkit

Wave Speeds

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).

Approximate event timings


  • 8.30am Parking opens at Dittisham (swim finish) for swimmers to drop off cars and take coach shuttles to swim start.
  • 8.50am Registration opens at Totnes (swim start)
  • 10.30 Leisurely safety briefing (35-40 minute-mile swimmers)
  • 10.45 Medium safety briefing (30-35 minute-mile swimmers)
  • 11.00 Fast wave safety briefing (25-30 minute-mile swimmers)
  • 11.15 Elite wave safety briefing (Sub 25 minute-mile swimmers)
  • Swimmers enter the water immediately following their safety briefing.
  • 11.50 Dittisham Ham Finish area open to public.
  • 13.25 First arrivals expected. Coaches run shuttles back to Totnes for those who’ve parked there.
  • 14.50 Last swimmers expected.
  • 16.20 Final coaches back to Totnes.


  • 9.10am Parking opens at Dittisham (swim finish) for swimmers to drop off cars and take coach shuttles to swim start.
  • 9.30am Registration opens at Totnes (swim start)
  • 11.10 Leisurely safety briefing (35-40 minute-mile swimmers)
  • 11.25 Medium safety briefing (30-35 minute-mile swimmers)
  • 11.40 Fast wave safety briefing (25-30 minute-mile swimmers)
  • 11.55 Elite wave safety briefing (Sub 25 minute-mile swimmers)
  • Swimmers enter the water immediately following their safety briefing.
  • 12.30 Dittisham Ham Finish area open to public.
  • 14.05 First arrivals expected. Coaches run shuttles back to Totnes for those who’ve parked there.
  • 15.30 Last swimmers expected.
  • 17.00 Final coaches back to Totnes.

Volunteering roles

As it stands, we are fortunate that we have recruited enough volunteers for a successful event in 2018. 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.

Keeping you safe and supported

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.


Food & Entertainment

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.

Who can take part?

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.


Travel, Parking and Logistics

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. To assist planning, here are approximate timings. These may be subject to change – please check back before event day and read event emails.

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 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.

Support Great Causes

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.

Level Water have a number of guaranteed entries available with a fundraising commitment available for registration now. Please contact colette@levelwater.org for info.

The following charities also support the Dart 10k.



The Dart10k is a wetsuit event. All swimmers are to wear a full length, ankle-to-wrist neoprene swimming wetsuit unless permission has been been sought and granted by the events team before 15 July (see skins, below). If you want to wear any variation of a full length, ankle-to-wrist neoprene swimming wetsuit (eg no arms, short legs) then please apply to the event manager using the skins form stating your current training in this suit. Please do not attempt a 10k in a surf wetsuit – the drag, buoyancy and comparative lack of flexibility will make your life unnecessarily difficult.

Suits & Skins

Skin swimming is a noble tradition and growing in popularity, and every year we welcome skin swimmers to the Dart.

Skin swimmers need to apply to swim in in skins, with permission granted on the basis of prior proven experience of swims of this length and temperature, whether undertaken personally or as part of an event, and on the basis of current training. In granting permission to swim in skins, we are looking for evidence of similar prior experience and/or a recent monitored two hour swim in similar temperature water. Please note that non-wetsuit permission cannot be guaranteed at entry because it depends on current training. Tickets are therefore sold as “wetsuits compulsory” in spring. Non-wetsuit application forms are provided in your confirmation email, for return by 15 July. We then consider your application within one month and communicate our decision back to applicants by 25 July at the latest.

Not all applications are permitted, and if yours is rejected you will need to swim in a wetsuit. Why? To keep you safe. Only those who have undergone a steady and committed programme of acclimatisation will be able to do a swim of this length in skins. Because safety cover is shared, rather than one to one, the Dart10k is not the place to test out your endurance to cold for the first time. If you are not given permission you will need to swim in a wetsuit or transfer your ticket to another swimmer in a week-long window ending on 31 July. If you do not have your wetsuit on or permission for a skin-swim granted in advance, you will not be able to swim.

If you wish to swim without a full length wetsuit please apply on our non-wetsuit application form here: https://goo.gl/forms/ZFhDi2N4RMaWgfg52 after registering. The deadline for completing this form is 15th July.




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. Swimmers with physical disabilities who would like to swim should email the event manager prior to registration, and will be accommodated within the existing water safety provision wherever possible (no separate arrangements can be made).

© Anna Barclay
Anna Barclay
Anna Barclay

No Tow Floats or Fins

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, Lucozade, 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.

Tickets are not refundable, but there is a short transfer window, ending 31 July.

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 before the 31 July deadline. There is a fee to transfer a ticket, and it is organised by the recipient of the transfer visiting https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com/event/dart-10k-2018/ and paying £20 for a “Dart 10k 2018 ticket transfer”. After 31 July, your ticket is yours to keep and no transfers are possible.

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.



Our thanks go to Dittisham Council, Totnes Council, Dittisham Sailing Club and many individuals and local groups for their support. We also thank the following brands for their freebies for swimmers courtesy of:


More Questions & Help

Almost all swimmers’ general questions are answered in the resources above, however if you have questions that are specific to your entry, please email hello@outdoorswimmingsociety.com , and allow up to a week for a reply.

All Dart 10k tickets are now sold out. You can still pay for your pack to be delivered by post, or order a spectator’s coach transfer below. For more options for those that missed out, please see this facebook post.

Location: Totnes to Dittisham
Enter Dart 10k