Saturday 9th September 2017
The Dart10k will be held on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of September 2017. We look forward to welcoming 1600 swimmers over the weekend, and hope to run a 10 mile course again this year. Tickets will be released in late February/ early March 2017: to be sure you receive details of the ticket release, join the OSS as a member (it's free!) and receive our newsletter.
The Dart 10k was the first, and is arguably the finest, 10k swim on the open water calendar and 2017 is it's eight year. It has grown from 200 swimmers to 1600.
It's a fantastic swim journey from the town of Totnes down the Dart estuary to Dittisham (dit-sum to locals). The course is marked not by inflatable buoys but by landmarks - the Cormorant Tree, the white rock, Sharpham boat house, 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.
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, 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.
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 both ends, and with entertainment, deck chairs, a fine view, the finish is an easy place for supporters to wile away a few hours. Highlights include:
- Hot tubs (swimmers only, no wetsuits)
- Childrens crafts - so they can make pebble people or medals for those they are supporting
- Storyteller - local and marine tales for children from Old Fairweather
- Frame your glory – take your own event photo with a series of DIY photo frames to choose from: Gilt, Polaroid, Flotsam & Jetsum and Ornate Portrait
- Local bands and singers to serenade you as you arrive.
There is also a childrens playground on the Ham.
The swim is for over 16s. If under 18 you must have parental consent.
STROKES & SPECIAL NEEDS
We welcome and can generally accomodate swimmers with physical disabilities who would like to swim. Please should email the event manager ideally prior to registration, and you will be accommodated within the existing water safety provision wherever possible (no separate arrangements can be made). 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.
Most people swim front crawl, but we have had a few butterfly and breaststroke swimmers. Breaststroke is not generally recommended because it's hard to swim this distance in a wetsuit doing breaststroke.
SUITS & SKINS
Skin swimming is a noble tradition and growing in popularity, and every year we welcome skin swimmers to the Dart. Skin swimmers do 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.
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.
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 February, Non-wetsuit application forms must be returned by 15 July. We then consider your application within ten days and communicate our decision back to applicants by 22 July at the latest.
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.
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.
EVENT TIMINGS & WAVE SPEEDS
The four speed waves are categorised according to the time it takes you to swim a mile of relaxed continuous front crawl in a pool, without big pushes off. Selecting the right wave means you are swimming with others the same pace as you. There's no need to try to estimate or adjust the wave you think you "should" be in - just select your wave according to your real pace as described above.
This swim is not suitable for plus-40-minute milers.
- Leisurely wave: 35 - 40 minutes
- Medium wave: 30-35 minutes
- Fast wave: 25-30 minutes
- Elite: Less than 25 minutes
Swimmers receive swim times (make sure your mobile number is correct at registration) and a few race freebies from event supporters www.alpkit.com, www.chiacharge.co.uk, Instant Hot Chocolate by Clipper and from us, the OSS.
There's plenty of time between now and the event for almost any swimmer who is happy in the water to get ready for the event. All you need to do is commit to sufficient training - this may mean a swim lesson or two for your stroke, definitely means fitness training so you're ready for the distance, and, come May or June, outdoors experience. All swimmers will need to be acclimatised to outdoor swim temperatures by the day, and to have experience of chop and open water.
Resources to aid training:
- This website carries some inspiration and information about going outdoors
- The uber friendly Outdoor Swimming Society Facebook GROUP (NB look for the GROUP, not page) will help you find others in your area - and there are wild swimming groups such as Devon & Cornwall Wild Swimmers to hook up with all over the country
- Closer to the time, we will set up an Official Dart10k 2017 FB page, which becomes the place to go to discuss training, chaffing wetsuit remedies, cold acclimatisation, newbie nerves and all other issues
- Wildswim.com will help you find great places to swim outdoors across the world - including lidos and triathlon training lakes which provide a monitored introduction o open water temperatures
- The Dart10k training manual for front crawl swimmers, developed in conjunction with Dan Bullock of Swimfortri, will aid your training for the event.
NO TOW FLOATS OR FINS
SUPPORT GREAT CAUSES
A primary 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/ not for profit, and if you want to get sponsored to swim for us you can donate to via paypal, or just collect donations and send us a cheque.
Swimmers are free to raise money for any charity (or none), and this year our three charity partners are returning. Details of how to swim for them will be released in Spring, with tickets. These charities all have places available to take part in the swim with a minimum fundraising commitment.
Devon has two Air Ambulances because of the support and hard work of the community, businesses and friends of Devon. "They are here for you and thanks to you, but they need your help to fly longer into the night,' says DAAT. www.daat.org
Level Water is a young and fast growing charity who's fortunes were changed overnight by involvement in the Dart10k 2016. 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.
FRANK Water is an official charity partner for the Dart 10k, providing safe, clean water to some of the world’s poorest communities.
TICKETS ARE TRANSFERABLE BUT NON-REFUNDABLE, EVEN IN THE CASE OF EVENT CANCELLATION
After the statutory 14 day cooling off period, tickets cannot be refunded or deferred for any reason, including injury, medical issues, or factors outside of your control.
Swimmers can transfer their place to another OSS member for a cost until 31 July 2017. (It's free to become an OSS member). After 31 July, your ticket is yours to keep and no transfers are possible.
Please make a note of this transfer window!
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.
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:
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