The Wild Dart Swim and Aquathlon
The fifth Wild Dart Swim takes place on Saturday July 20th. As with previous year’s, you can enter the 2.5k or 5k swim, as well as a 7k aquathlon. For the second year, you can also enter the 15k or 2k sprint aquathlon. The latter is suitable for children over 14 years old or for younger children (12 upwards) whose parents are willing to swim with them. Something for swimmers, runners and triathletes of all levels.
Branded swim caps
Full water safety coverage
Prizes for all categories where sufficient numbers allow)
The 5k swim covers an out and back route, starting and finishing at the Dart-Totnes Rowing Club on Steamer Quay. The 2.5k swimmers start at the same place in separate waves (according to your predicted finishing time) but exit at Sharpham. Aquathloners will also exit at Sharpham, then move to a nearby transition area, before running the three miles back to the rowing club, following the cycle path above the Dart.
Swimming alongside the tow path and the reed beds, which line the Sharpham side of the river and the rolling hills on the left, which wind along towards Stoke Gabriel. You will take your first snake bend here, as the river takes a turn towards Sharpham.
You will know you’re approaching the half way buoy when you can catch sight of a small pontoon on your right, which is Sharpham’s North Quay.
Starts approximately 9.30am.
The 7k aquathlon includes the 2.5k swim and a hilly 4.5k run through the picturesque vineyards at Sharpham and along the cycle track from Sharpham House to Moat Hill, turning left at The Steam Packet before crossing the bridge to Bridgetown and turning right in to Steamer Quay and the rowing club. The course suits road shoes. All normal swim run kit will be permitted, except for tow floats. Swimmers will be permitted to swim in their running shoes.
Starts approximately 9.30am.
The 15k aquathlon takes runners up the hill from Sharpham House and down the road through Ashprington towards Bow Bridge before runners follow the Harbourne River to Beanleigh cross and back to Sharpham and then Totnes via the bicycle tracks.
All normal swim run kit will be permitted, except for tow floats. Swimmers will be permitted to swim in their running shoes.
Starts approximately 8.30m
The sprint aquathlon will precede all the other events and includes a 500 swim along the River Dart parallel to the walkway, until it reaches its end and the swimmers get out and transition before running a short 1 mile loop around Steamer Quay.
All normal swim run kit will be permitted, including tow floats. Swimmers will be permitted to swim in their running shoes.
How will it work?
There will be multiple start waves throughout the event, as with last year; allocation to each wave will be based upon the expected completion times that competitors have provided in advance. All wave starts will be rolling starts with between 30 to 70 competitors per start wave.
The first event, the sprint aquathlon is due to start at 8am. The first 2.5k wave is due to start at 9.30am, with the second starting shortly after. Normally the first 5k swimmers finished in just over 1 hour 15 mins in to a slight tide and back with it.
2.5k swimmers and aquathlon entrants will leave their clothes/shoes in a colour coded & numbered bin bag, which will be taken to the transition area/finish at Sharpham. Aquathloner’s wetsuits will be transported back to the finish by bus.
There will be a team of safety kayakers, rescue boats and crews on hand throughout the swim. No one will be more than 200m from a safety vessel. We will be working closely with the safety team to ensure swimmers exit the slipway one at a time. 5k swimmers will not be permitted to exit at the half way point, unless they are retiring.
In the event of the water temperature falling below 11.9ºC, a reduced swim course will be considered.
Due to the exceptionally warm summer we have had, the river has been warm, so we will be allowing participants to swim without wetsuits, unless the recorded temperature is below 15 degrees.
If the water temperature is above 22 degrees Celsius wetsuits will be banned. Competitors will be notified of this at registration and in advance of the event where possible.
When permitted to do so by the event crew swimmers will enter the water via the slip-way or stairs, creating a ‘rolling’ start. Exact entry point is TBC. The event crew will use NCT chip timing to time each swimmer. Participants will be set off in multiple waves, which will be decided in conjunction with the harbourmaster’s office and the water safety team.
Registration, Post Swim and Kit
Registration will open at 6.00am at the Riverside Cafe in Steamer Quay TQ9 5YS and all swimmers will be able to collect their swim envelopes containing a wristband, timing chip and swim cap. We will walk you down to the start next to the rowing club.
All participants will be able to leave their kit at the start in an attended area at the rowing club. This year we will also encourage supporters to be on standby ready with warm garments.
For those of you who have built up an appetite, the Riverside Cafe will prepare food for you, either vegetarian or non vegetarian.
Dartington campsite: This is one of our favourite camping sites near Totnes. (less than 2 miles out of Totnes). It’s fairly rustic but we think you’ll like it! The magnificent Green Table Cafe is only half a mile away in the beautiful surroundings of Dartington estate. £15pp per night. Camper vans are not permitted as it is a Heritage Site. Upper Drive, Dartington Hall, Totnes TQ9 6EE. 01803 847077
There is a camper van site just 200 metres away from the race start on Steamer Quay.
Another camping option which does allow camper vans is at Broadleigh Farm between Totnes and Paignton. https://www.broadleighfarm.co.uk/find-us