OSS Events cancelled in 2021

02nd December, 2020

The Outdoor Swimming Society have cancelled their iconic events, the Dart10k, the Bantham Swoosh and the Hurly Burly, for 2021, and will be closing their event office once the refunds to swimmers are done. ‘All our swims were fully booked for 2021,’ says Kate Rew, Creative Director of the society and director of the events business. ‘But we could not continue to operate in the uncertainty around coronavirus. It’s brilliant news about the vaccine, and we hope all the best projections come to pass in terms of getting back to normal, but operationally events have no idea what rules they will be working within to make themselves covid safe next year, and therefore no way of planning for them or costing them. It’s a very high risk picture and for events like ours, held in remote communities with coach travel, with entries dependent on the tide, there are complications other events might not face. November was the last point in time where we could cancel and refund ticket money, after this we would incur significant incremental irretrievable costs in a situation, for example, where local or national government cancelled us (which happened to two of our events in 2020). Having not being able to run any events in 2020 either (and being one of the types of businesses in the treasuries excluded categories) our cash reserves were used up, so we took the decision to change tack now, and look forward to coming back in 2022 or 2023 when things are predictable. They say the best yield follows a fallow year – we are hoping the return will be spectacular. It’s not just the swims that make OSS events so popular, it’s the people – the sharing, coming together and hugging. We are looking forward to a return to that. The Outdoor Swimming Society is a worldwide community group of swimmers with 125k members, having seen a 25% increase on all channels since lockdown began. It is free to join, and run by volunteers, but does have real world bills to pay. These are usually covered by event income, but having lost this in 2020 and 2021 the society is now looking at other ways to keep going – starting, with an OSS Christmas Cracker Raffle. ‘There are some fantastic prizes, from a SwimTrek holiday to an Orca winter wetsuit,’ says Kate. ‘There’s a 1 in 100 chance of winning something – a Finisterre jumper, an Alpkit jacket, an OSS hoodie, a Red Original bundle.’ Tickets are limited – go to the Christmas Cracker raffle page to bag yours.