ABOUT THE BANTHAM BOOMERANG PIONEER YEAR
How far can you swim before the tide turns? The Bantham Boomerang swim is a new swim for 2020: a 7-10km swim on the Avon Estuary in Devon, taking place on a Friday afternoon, with a BBQ afterwards.
The Boomerang swim starts at Bantham (home to the Swoosh), with swimmers heading upriver on the incoming tide. When the tide turns, so do the swimmers, swimming back downriver with the outgoing tide, swooshing into Bantham Beach and the finish line.
Suitable for previous Swoosh-ers, and Dart10k and Hurly Burly swimmers looking for a new way to start the season.
The distance swum will depend on how fast you swim, but all swim speeds are welcome. Swimmers will be set off according to their speed, which you are asked to know by the day. Some swimmers will make it all the way to the turnaround pontoon around 6km upstream before the tide turns, others will have a shorter journey. Our fantastic safety team will be there to support you every step of the way.
WHEN IS THE EVENT?
The Bantham Boomerang will take place on Friday 3rd of July 2020. Registration is open in the early afternoon, with the swim starting after 4pm. High tide is at 5.40 pm and the swim finish is expected between 6.30 and 7.30 pm – just in time for food at the finish.
Registration packs will be sent by post, but you will still need to leave time to register before your swim – detailed event timings will be shared with swimmers in the event information pack, around 2 months before the event.
CAN YOU DO IT?
We recommend that swimmers are able to swim 7km confidently. There’s a gentle pull in both directs as the tide comes in and then goes out, 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 that dissimilar to the end of season (12-15 °C 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!
HOW TO ENTER
Tickets for the Bantham Boomerang will go on sale on 14.11.19 at 7 am, via the link at the top of this page. Entry will be on a first come first served basis, so will be on sale until they sell out.
Everyone is welcome, so whether you want to come along as part of a group or want to enter individually, we would love you to join us! Swimmers aged 16 and 17 are welcome, but will need their parent or guardian to provide parental consent prior to the swim.
We advise collecting all the information you will need for each entrant before starting the ticket buying process, to make the experience as smooth as possible. We’ve made a handy swimmer information form for you to collect the information you need to enter each swimmer, so you can collate information at your leisure before tickets are released and are then ready to go! If you’re entering a group of people we suggest you collect this information for all swimmers before buying tickets.
Tickets for the Bantham Boomerang are £110.
KEEPING YOU SAFE AND SUPPORTED
We have worked with a remarkable professional water safety team for over 10 years, who deliver the best water safety and support at all our events. Swimmers are flanked by professionally qualified employed lifeguards throughout the swim. There is one feeding stations on the route with drinks and jelly babies, at around 4 km upriver of Bantham Beach.
WETSUITS AND SKIN SWIMMER PASSES
We welcome skins and suits swimmers at our events, but Skin Swimmer Passes must be applied for and are not guaranteed. All tickets are sold on the basis that participants will wear full length swimming wetsuits or full length sleeveless wetsuit.
WETSUITS: Your wetsuit must, at least, 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). Surf wetsuits do not offer the same mobility or buoyancy balance as swim wetsuits, which leads to physical issues completing longer swims.
SKIN SWIMMER PASS: Skin Swimmers Passes are awarded on the basis of suitable experience and must be applied for by the 17th May 2020 using this form. Once granted, the pass is valid for all 2020 OSS events. Applications are vetted by the Events Managers and decisions are non-negotiable.
Swimmers who completed a 2019 event with The Outdoor Swimming Society in skins will automatically be granted a 2020 Skins Swimmer Pass.
If you are fairly new to skins swimming, but think you’ll want to swim the event without a wetsuit please fill in the Skins Swimmer Pass application form nearer to the deadline so you can provide the experience you have had to date, rather than what you expect to do. If you don’t get a pass and don’t want to swim in a wetsuit you can transfer your ticket to a friend. Cut off for ticket transfers for the Bantham Boomerang is 24th May 2020, one week after the Skins Swimmer Pass application deadline.
Most people swim our events using front crawl, but we do have swimmers that do butterfly and breaststroke. Breaststroke is not generally recommended because it’s hard on the knees to swim this distance in a wetsuit. As this swim is not set distance and instead depends on how far you get before the tide turns, please be prepared to do a shorter distance overall if you swim breaststroke. If you are planning to do this swim fly, please let us know – We would love to follow your journey!
We welcome and can generally accommodate swimmers with physical disabilities who would like to swim. It is essential that those with disabilities, or anyone who has concerns about their ability to take part in this event, seek their doctor’s advice before taking part, and please contact us email the event manager prior to or within 14 days of buying a ticket to discuss how we can accommodate you. Swimmers with additional needs will be accommodated within the existing water safety provision wherever reasonable adjustments are possible (no separate arrangements can be made), and will need to attend an additional safety briefing prior to the swim.
NO TOW FLOATS OR FINS
Events run by The Outdoor Swimming Society are tow-float free. We have ample safety cover who watch swimmers via their brightly coloured hats. Tow floats makes sighting swimmers more difficult 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 tow floats 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.
There is a feeding station at around 4km upriver from Bantham Beach, where you can top up on water and energy. These stations carry water, bananas, jelly babies and flapjack. Most swimmers with personal medication tuck it up the sleeve of their wetsuit – however, if this doesn’t cover your needs and you want to use a tow float for this purpose please contact the event manager.
FOOD, TRAVEL, PARKING AND LOGISTICS
All swimmers and their supporters will park at Bantham Beach (car parking charges apply and are taken by Bantham Estate when entering the estate).
Bantham Estate, where this event is held, is offering camping to Boomerangers ONLY on the Friday night. In 2020 this camping is NOT available to Swoosh swimmers. This is a change to previous years, and is to avoid outgoing Boomerangers meeting incoming Swooshers and causing gridlock in the lanes on a Friday night, and outgoing Swooshers disturbing villagers before sunrise on Saturday. Camping fees will be collected by Bantham Estate on entry to the estate.
Food will be available to purchase at Bantham before and after the swim. We’ll also be looking to organise a celebratory BBQ following the event – look out for tickets, to be advertised via an email to swimmers nearer to the event.
Please do NOT rely on Sat-Nav to reach the event – use the printable maps below instead. Don’t rely on the following postcodes: The end of the swim (for those who’s ticket states this, and all spectators) is Bantham Beach near TQ7 3AN. Aveton Gifford parking (for those who’s ticket states this) is near TQ7 4LF .
Please note, spectators will not be able to see swimmers in Aveton Gifford – the turn around point will be out of sight and downriver of the Aveton Gifford end of the route.
JOIN THE OSS TEAM
Our events are run, on land, by a small but fantastic army of volunteers. If you or your supporters would like to join the #OSSteam for event day or a day around the event, please read this Bantham Boomerang and Sunrise Swoosh volunteering factsheet. #OSSteam members will receive a free T-shirt, free parking during the event and free Friday camping, a discount on a future swim entry and 2020 Bantham Boomerang event merchandise, early-bird access to 2021 tickets for all OSS events, and a whole lot of love from The Outdoor Swimming Society Events team and swimmers as they make this swim possible for others.
After the statutory 14 day cooling off period, tickets cannot be refunded or deferred.
If you decide you will not be able to attend the event:
We realise that situations change and you might get injured, change jobs, or get invited to your best friend’s wedding. As your entry is NON refundable we suggest you consider taking out insurance to cover any costs you incur if you are not able to attend the event. Please check the conditions of your policy carefully to make sure it provides the cover you require.
You may be able to transfer your ticket to another swimmer. The transfer window will run from the day tickets sell out until 24th May 2020. If tickets do not sell out, transfers will not be offered.
You will need to find a recipient for your ticket (we recommend advertising you ticket on the relevant event Facebook page) and you will need to arrange for the transfer of payment for the ticket between yourselves. You are responsible for making sure the recipient is aware of all of the terms of the ticket, including any fundraising or volunteer commitments included within the ticket.
The recipient of the transfer should visit the Bantham Boomerang ticket page and pay £20 for a “Bantham Boomerang 2020 ticket transfer”. After the 24th May 2020, your ticket is yours to keep and no transfers are possible.
If the event is cancelled by The Outdoor Swimming Society:
No refunds are given if we have to cancel or curtail the event due to adverse weather, pollution, or other factors outside of our control.
The OSS has a robust attitude to both safety and risk and works with an extremely professional water safety crew to ensure that the event will run if it is safe to do so. In the unlikely event we have to cancel on the event day or immediately before the event due to, for example, storms, lightning, or heavy rain that impedes the view of the safety team then you will not be offered a refund or a deferred entry to the next year’s event. At this point, everything will be in place for the event to take place and most, if not all, event expenses will have been incurred.
The OSS does not hold cancellation insurance to cover this eventuality as insurance of this nature is extremely expensive. We have taken this decision to keep the price of the events down as much as possible, and in recognition of the relatively low risk of an event being cancelled. In 10 years of holding swimming events, we have only had to cancel on one occasion.
Please see our Event Terms and Conditions for more information.
If you are not happy with this small risk then we recommend that you consider a travel insurance policy that provides cover for your entry and any expenses you will have incurred.
Personal Travel Insurance:
It is possible to take out personal travel insurance to cover your visit to an event. Policies differ and you must check the conditions of a policy carefully to make sure it covers the scenarios you want protecting against. Some policies cover entry fees and expenses you have incurred if you are not able to attend an event due to, for example, ill health. Other policies (less common) cover the ticket price of an event if it is cancelled by the organisers. It is more common for policies to cover music festivals than sports events, so you must check the terms and conditions of a policy carefully.
Alpha Travel Insurance provide a Festival & Events Policy where it is necessary to fully complete the Activities section of the application, specifying that you are taking part in an open water swimming event. Other insurance companies may be able to provide the same, or a better, level of cover and we would recommend that you shop around to find the correct policy to meet your needs. The OSS are not able to provide a recommendation: you must ensure that you are comfortable with the terms and conditions of any travel insurance policy that you take out.
SUPPORT GREAT CAUSES
Swimmers are free to raise money for any charity (or none), and we are delighted to partner with Level Water once again as our primary event partner charity.
Level Water is a young and fast growing charity whose fortunes were changed overnight by involvement in the Dart 10k. The charity provides one-to-one swimming lessons for disabled children across the country, teaching them the basics then help them to join mainstream lessons and competitive clubs.
To help support its work, The Outdoor Swimming Society receives funds from sales of tickets for branded OSS events and merchandise. Every purchase you make supports the running of the society, which is a not-for-profit organisation in it’s self defined role as the UK’s (and the world’s) best inspirer and informer on the art and sport of swimming.
MORE QUESTIONS AND HELP