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The Bantham Swoosh 2017 The Bantham Swoosh 2017 The Bantham Swoosh 2017

The Bantham Swoosh 2017 The Bantham Swoosh 2017
Saturday 24th June 2017

The Bantham Swoosh 2017 is due to take place on Saturday 24th June. Tickets will go on sale at 7am on 21 March 2017.

The Bantham Swoosh is supported by Alpkit and swimmers will receive an Alpkit Osmo towel on the finish line.

Now in it's third year, the Swoosh is a world class 6km swim in a sandy bottomed estuary in Devon. Among the things that make it special is the fact the estuary we swim in is both shallow and sandy bottomed - so water is clear rather than muddy, and swimmers have a view of the sandy bed most of the way.

The swim  culminates in a "swoosh" as the ebbing tide is funelled through a narrow section of river, speeding you along over the riverbed at up to four times your usual swimming speed. It can run at 8 knots. It's exciting, invigorating, beautiful and fun.

The Swoosh is a very low key event with minimal event infrastructure, all the better to enjoy ending the swim on one of the Devon's finest family surfing beaches, with picnics, family and friends. From the beach there are views of Bigbury Beach and Burgh Island, and at low tide there are miles of rock pools. The swim takes you from a narrow inland Devon river, surrounded by hills, into a different landscape on the edge of the sea.



Thanks to Clif Bar, swimmers will be given a Clif bar along with a hot drink on the finish line.

Your Bantham Swoosh swim cap is provided by Swimcap.com


Probably!  We recommend that swimmers are able to swim 5km confidently. There's a gentle pull on the estuary which  makes life easier, but a bad weather day (chop or a headwind) can counteract that, so come prepared. 

A key test of the swim for most swimmers is the water temperature - the swim is early in the season, so while water temperature is not the dissimilar to the end of season (12-15 degrees is expected), most swimmers aren't so well acclimatised. Getting out in open water in May & June before the event is the way to prepare for this. 

Please note - the swoosh occurs as the estuary narrows at the very end, you are not swooshed from start to finish! The swoosh is strongest later after high tide, meaning that the slower you swim, the more assistance you get from the swoosh. Everyone wins! This is a really approachable swim and an ideal first long outdoor event. Most swimmers take between 1.5-2 hours to complete the swim.


The minimum age for swimmers is 16. Those under 18 will need to bring someone with parental responsibility to registration with them to sign to provide parental consent.

Outdoor Swimming Society Bantham Swoosh event


Skin swimming is a noble tradition and every year we welcome skin swimmers to OSS events. 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 90 minutes 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 Swoosh 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,  with Non-wetsuit application forms returned before the event. We then consider your application within ten days and communicate our decision back to applicants. 

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 before the event. If you do not have your wetsuit on or permission for a skin-swim granted in advance, you will not be able to swim.

We welcome and can accomodate swimmers with disabilities, however a sandy beach finish and steps on the headland may mean wheelchair users do a slightly truncated swim, getting out at the Bantham Boathouse which is regretably before the Swosoh. 

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 declare anything which the lifeguards would need to be aware of on their swimmer disclaimer form.

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). 

Outdoor Swimming Society Bantham Swoosh event


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. 
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


After the statutory 14 day cooling off period, your ticket is yours to keep. Places cannot be exchanged, refunded or deferred for any reason, including injury, medical issues or factors outside of your control. You can transfer your ticket on payment of a fee to another OSS member during a transfer window (tbc), (It's free to become an OSS member) after which transfers are also not permitted. 

Please note that should the event be cancelled due to extreme conditions which include (but are 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.

Outdoor Swimming Society Bantham Swoosh event


Our events are run, on the land, by a small army of volunteers. If you or your supporters would like to join the #OSSteam for the day or the weekend, please read this Bantham Swoosh volunteering factsheet and email events@outdoorswimmingsociety.com. Voluntarty team members get access to early-bird tickets in future years, and make this swim possible for others.  


The finish of the swim (where parking and registration are also found!) is Bantham Beach near TQ7 3AN (Google map, or printable map) . Please do NOT rely on Sat-Nav to reach the event.


One beneficiary of the Swoosh 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 in 2017 we will announce further charity partners.

Aveton Gifford Community Pool logo

Aveton Gifford community outdoor pool is a beneficiary of the swim. It's an open air pool in the village where the swim starts. It's attached to the school, and used for primary school swim lessons as well as open for village use. It's a wonderful facility that now needs to be self-supporting and we are delighted to be supporting it. There will be charity swim places available for swimmers willing to fundraise for the pool - please email the event manager if you think you can help!

Level Water provides free one-to-one swimming lessons for children with disabilities.  Without their one-to-one swimming lessons, most of these children will never learn to swim.

Level Water have a limited number of entries available for the Bantham Swoosh with a fundraising commitment. Please contact ian@levelwater.org for info.


You can ask (and answer) questions with other swimmers at the Facebook event.

We publish answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.

If you have questions not answered above you can contact oss.events.enquiries@gmail.com, but whilst we attempt to dedicate one day in each week (not necessarily the same day) to answering enquiries, it may take a while to get back to you.

With thanks to Christine Anderson at Surfin' Sam on Thurlstone for her wonderful image of the estuary used in the logo picture. Christine rents boards and boats at nearby Thurlstone. 

A special thanks to all our partners: Alpkit, Bantham Estates, Aveton Gifford Community Pool, Swimcap, Clif Bars and Clipper (who we have to thank for the delicious hot chocolate at the finish). Your support is much appreciated.


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