ABOUT THE DART 10K
The Dart 10k was the first, and is arguably the finest, 10k swim on the open water calendar, growing from 200 to 1600 swimmers a year over ten years. The course of the Dart 10K is a unique journey punctuated by landmarks such as the Cormorant Tree, the white rock, Sharpham boathouse and Bow Creek. It’s supported by volunteers from the local and swimming community, who make it one of the most special events in the swimming calendar. It’s a journey, not a race – we have some fast swimmers, skins swimmers, disabled swimmers, newbies, butterfly swimmers, leisurely swimmers – whatever the level, there’s room for everyone in the river.
WHEN IS THE EVENT?
The Dart 10k will take place on Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of September 2020. The swim starts around high tide, which in 2020 means swimmers will enter the water from 9 am on Saturday and 9.30 am on Sunday.
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?
The swim is assisted by river flow, but swimmers should still train to swim 10km. All swimmers will need to be acclimatised to outdoor swim temperatures by the day, and to have experience of chop and open water.
HOW TO ENTER
Everyone is welcome, and very much encouraged, to join the swim, 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.
Tickets for the Dart 10k will be through a ballot system. The ballot will open at 7 am on 28th November 2019 and close at midnight on 3rd December 2019. Entry to the ballot system will be via the link at the top of this page, and you are welcome to enter individually or as part of a group. The ballot will be drawn soon after and successful and unsuccessful entrants notified by email.
The full cost of a ticket will be taken on entry to the ballot. Refunds for unsuccessful ballot entries will be processed within five working days of email notification, but it may take a further five days for the money to reach unsuccessful entrant’s bank accounts. Please only enter the ballot once – it is a ballot rather than a lottery, so if entrants enter multiple times only one of their entries will be included in the draw. All entries purchased as a group (i.e. bought in one transaction) will be considered as a group when the ballot is drawn, so either all or none of you will get a ticket.
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 and because our ticketing process has a set time in which transactions have to take place. 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.
DART 10K DOUBLE DIPPER TICKETS
One day just not enough? Dart Double Dipper tickets – entry to both days of the Dart 10k – are back for 2020. Double Dipper tickets be available on a first come, first served basis from 7 am on the 28th November 2019 via the Dart 10k ticket page.
Tickets for the Dart 10k are £110. A limited number of half-price tickets will be available for people wanting to volunteer on one day and swim on the other.
Double Dipper tickets for the Dart 10k are £220.
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 are two feeding stations on the route with drinks, bananas, flapjacks and jelly babies, at around 4 km and 7 km from the swim start.
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 26th July 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 or swimmers 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 in 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 Dart 10k is 2nd August 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. 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 are two feeding stations at around 4km and 7km downriver from the swim start, 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
There are a range of food stalls at the start of the swim in Totnes and at the swim finish on the village green at Dittisham (the Dittisham Ham). Food and entertainment on the Ham is available throughout the day for supporters and swimmers, and with deck chairs available to admire the view, supporters can anticipate the arrival of swimmers in comfort.
This is an A to B swim, starting at Longmarsh Green in Totnes and finishing at Dittisham Ham. We offer coaches to spectators (with prepaid tickets) as well as swimmers (free, prebooking not required) to enable car free weekends.
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, near 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 Dittisham Ham but it is not possible for event traffic other than these ticket holders to enter the village for drop offs – if you need a disabled car pass please contact us.
JOIN THE OSS TEAM
Our events are run, on land, by a huge and 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 Dart 10k volunteering factsheet.
#OSSteam places for the Dart 10k can be on a volunteer only basis, or half price tickets are available for people who would like to swim one day and volunteer on the other – all #OSSteam tickets will go on sale at 7 am on 28th November 2019. Whether you decide to swim or not, #OSSteam members will receive a free T-shirt, free parking during the event, a discount on Dart 10k 2020 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 know 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 14 days from the day tickets sell out until 2nd August 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 Dart 10k ticket page and pay £20 for a “Dart 10k 2020 ticket transfer”. After the 2nd August 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.
Thank you for the continued support of our supporters: Dittisham Parish Council, Dittisham Sailing Club, South Hams District Council, Dart Harbour Authority, John and Sean Tucker at Cott Farm, the Dart Rowing Club and Exeter Canoe Club, for their continued support of the Dart 10k.
MORE QUESTIONS AND HELP