Description by Outdoor Swimming Society on behalf of Outdoor Swimming Society
Downstream swims don’t come much more spectacular than River Dart in Devon, or British swims more iconic. Flanked by old oaks and rolling Devon hills, the Outdoor Swimming Society Dart10k is an education in water and landscape. Swimmers spread out across the water which begins narrow and relatively fresh, and becomes more brackish and wide the closer swimmers get to the coast.
The 10km course is marked out by natural markers – the cormorant tree, the Sharpham Bends, the entrance to a huge creek - and as they progress downstream together swimmers turn into a collective rather than competitors. They even invented their own collective noun to suit the experience: ‘a contentment of swimmers
Description by Fiona Lunney who added this swim
The Dart 10k was the first, and is arguably the finest, 10k swim on the open water calendar.
The swim starts at Totnes where the water is fresh and winds it's way past the Cormorant Tree and around the Sharpham Bends, with swimmers using natural landmarks (and local art - mermaids in 2015, cormorants in 2016) to measure their progress, rather than bouys.
The Dart10k will be held on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of September 2017. Tickets will be released in late February/ early March 2017:For tickets, please go to the OSS website: http://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com/events/?id=101
It's supported by volunteers from the local and swimming community who make it special.
There is an elite wave but for most it's not a race, it's more of a collective high at the end of a long summers swimming. There are some fantastic and some very fast swimmers, we have skin swimmers, disabled swimmers, newbies, butterfly swimmers - but whatever the level, the language of the day is different. It's a journey, not a race, and there's room for everyone in the river - there's no thrashing and swimming over the top of each other.
The day ends with good times! The swim finishes on the village green in Dittisham where there's a mini-festival feel, with local food suppliers, a children's playground, all the fun of the fair as swimmers celebrate. There are new happenings every year, such as a Ukelele band and 'Art on the Dart' tent. With deck chairs and a great view, supporters can wile away as many hours as it takes you to get there.