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Dart10k 2016 Dart10k 2016 Dart10k 2016

Dart10k 2016 Dart10k 2016
Saturday 3rd September 2016

Well done to all Dart 10k 2016 swimmers! A spring tide and rainfall over Saturday night gave a fast year with times ranging from 1hr 40 to just over four hours. 

OSS Dart 10k swim supported by Alpkit

 The Dart 10k is supported by Alpkit, and all swimmers received an Alpkit Airlok drybag.

Results and photos from 2016

You can download each file using the "down arrow" download button at the top of the page, allowing you to sort any way you like, including by wave, wetsuit category or age category. We don't force swimmers to provide a date of birth, so there is not an age category listed for everyone. 

Dart 10k in 2017

Event dates for 2017 will be anounced on this webpage in Autumn 2016. To be sure you receive details of the ticket release, join the OSS as a member (it's free!) and receive our newsletter.

Why declare 2016 the Year of The Cormorant?

Because the cormorant tree - a dead tree on the right of the river where the cormorants hang out - is one the first landmarks of the swim, and generally a place by which there's a fantastic feeling that your swim has begun.

We also admire cormorants as skilled swimmers and divers. (Symbolism about them abounds - as a personal totem some see them as enabling people to accomplish what didn't seem possible. Good luck with that!)



The Dart 10k was the first, and is arguably the finest, 10k swim on the open water calendar and this is it’s seventh year. It has grown from 200 swimmers to 1600. In 2016 there are 800 swimmers on each day with an Elite (racing) wave for those that want to race, and multiple non-racing speed waves for the majority.

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 - there's no thrashing and swimming over the top of each other.

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. There are new happenings every year, such as a Ukelele band and hot tubs along with nature workshops and a storyteller for little ones. With deck chairs and a great view, supporters can wile away as many hours as it takes you to get there.


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.

 Dart 10k swim


There are a range of food stalls at both ends, and with entertainment, deck chairs, a fine view and a reasonable weather forecast, the finish is an easy place for supporters to wile away a few hours. At Dittisham we look forward to welcoming

  • Hot tubs from Mungo & Betsy’s sauna safaris (swimmers only, no wetsuits)
  • Make your own medal station from Nature Workshops (and pebble people)
  • 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.

Dart 10k swim


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.

Outdoor Swimming Society logo

Swimmers are free to raise money for any charity (or none), and this year we have charity partners (below) who we encourage you to consider as your beneficiaries. These charities all have places available to take part in the swim with a minimum fundraising commitment.

 Devon Air Ambulance Trust logo

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. www.daat.org

Level Water Logo

Level Water 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 is offering discounted Sunday places at £49, plus minimum £350 fundraising commitment. To fundraise for Level Water, contact Ian on ian@levelwater.org. Sign up for Level Water places at http://50.levelwater.org/dart/


Frank water logo

FRANK Water is an official charity partner for the Dart 10k, providing safe, clean water to some of the world’s poorest communities. FRANK Water are offering discounted places for  swimmers at £49, plus £350 minimum fundraising commitment. Contact Philippa directly for your place in the FRANK Water team on philippa@frankwater.com or 0117 329 4846. www.frankwater.com


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, in 2016 especially. Due to the spring tide this year, swimmers who aren't able to maintain the 40-minute pace risk running out of water depth at the finish line.

  • 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.comwww.chiacharge.co.ukInstant 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
  • The "Official OSS Dart10k 2016" facebook EVENT is 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.
Dart10k swim

The swim is for over 16s. If under 18 you must have parental consent.

Swimmers with physical disabilities who would like to swim should email the event manager ideally prior to registration, and 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.  

Dart 10k 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.

Swimmers can apply to swim in in skins. Permission is 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 - 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. It would endanger you and other swimmers. 

Please note that non wetsuit permission cannot be guaranteed and tickets are sold on a "wetsuits compulsory" basis. Non-wetsuit application forms must be returned by 15 July. We will aim to 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.


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 on events.oss@gmail.com

Dart 10k swim


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 2016. (It's free to become an OSS member). 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.


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:

Swimtrek.com logo

Instant Hot Chocolate by Clipper

The Outdoor Swimming Society operates as a not-for-profit, with the funds it does have coming from the Dart10k. The Dart 10k relies on shoals of volunteers to make the swim possible, working hard to keep swimmers safe and supported.
If you'd like to know more about volunteering, with access to guaranteed event entry please read this Dart 10k volunteering factsheet and email events.oss@gmail.com.
We publish answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Other swimmers give fast answers to common questions on the Offical Dart 10k Facebook event.
Almost all swimmers questions are answered in the resources above, however if you need further help please contact oss.events.enquiries@gmail.com

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