swim(s) details

Note: this page will leave plenty of stuff out. Some of it will be filled in as we get closer to the event date.  An email communication will be sent to all participants roughly a week before the race. If you have questions before then, just ask 'em. 

Want details for one of our swim events?  You've come to the right place.  We'll start with fast swim and work our way down, so if you want on the 'long swim', you'll need to scroll towards the bottom.



Cost: $~20-30. Includes post event sandwich/meal and possibly other stuff, TBD. Actual costs, as always, will be communicated to participants in the pre-event email. 

Max # of participants: 50

Map:  For a fully interactive map experience, click HERE

Categories:  Men and Women. We'll note junior athletes and anyone electing to use swim aid (paddles, pull buoys) on the results page. We'll also announce first local!

Mandatory gear:  If we provide swim caps, they are mandatory.  If not, they are still mandatory.  We want to be able to see you easily!  Wetsuits are recommended as the water temps can be--even in the middle of summer--in the teens some years, and you can expect to be in the water for up to an hour or more. 

Risks management:  Wow, where to start.  You're going to be swimming down a fast moving river.  There are trees on the banks (and sometimes elsewhere), rocks, strong currents, mini (or not so mini) whirlpools, deep voids of unnatural blackness where the water itself seems to stop moving and keep you fixed in one place, helpless.  There will be some support kayakers creating a bit of a safety envelope around the swim field as well as at least one jetski/boat for extraction purposes. If water levels are low, it may be a bit scratchy in places. All this being said, if you are a strong and confident swimmer, you will likely be fine and really enjoy yourself, while simultaneously being a bit freaked out. Good times.  

NOTE--there is a riverside trail that (more or less) runs the entire length of the race course. It is on the true left of the river. This trail provides a great opportunity for spectators to cycle along and watch the action.  It also provides a means of egress (other than bush bashing) for swimmers who want to withdraw, although some places are easier to get out than others (without climbing a steep bank). 

Post race:  Race finishes just under Rainbow Reach swing bridge.  We'll have a nice picnic set-up with sandwiches, fruit, cookies, etc, so swim hard enough to work up an appetite.  

Accommodation:  There are plenty of places to stay in Te Anau. Camping at one of the holiday parks is the cheapest option. Good luck, and let us know if you need help. 

Didymo: There is Didymo in the Waiau. Swimmers, please wash your togs and wetsuit in an appropriate cleaning solution and thoroughly dry them before using them in other bodies of water or waterways. Help prevent the spread of this aquatic weed.  . 

FAQs:  Because I did such a good job already on the FAQs for last year, I'll just send you over to them HERE.



Schedule for Feb 28th, 2021

Cost:  We're keeping it simple as always year so the cost will be low and there will be no frills. Hopefully the sense of accomplishment from the achievement and the sense of relief about just surviving (that we hope you get) will be reward enough for your efforts.  

NOTE: if you are using a support kayaker that fearsociety is sourcing for you, it is customary to find some significant way of showing your appreciation to them for taking a whole day out of their weekend to do their level best to see you safely from the start line to the finish line.  Some suggestions include--favorite beverages, gift certificates to restaurants, a new carbon fiber paddle, etc. A

Max # of participants: TBD, but based on number of support kayakers, approx. 20.

Map: For a fully interactive map, click HERE

Categories:  Male, Female, Junior (male and female), and first local. 

Mandatory gear:  Wetsuits are mandatory, unless you can prove to us we're not going to be pulling your hypothermic body out of the river or lake.  6+ hours in 15 degree water will take its toll on most mortals.  Maybe you've just swum from Stewart Island though, and in that case it's ok by us if you want to go in just your speedo. You'll also need to sort out your food/nutrition and go over your feed strategy with your support kayaker before the race.  We'll put you in touch with them (if we are sourcing them) so that this can happen. 

Risks management:  This is a serious undertaking.  Maybe not so much as say, a swim between the North and South Islands, or to Australia, or one from MIlford to Dusky sound like Arno Marten did a few years back, but it will certainly represent, for many of the participants, the biggest, scariest, and most serious swim they have ever done.  Exciting, right?  For this reason, all swimmers will be accompanied by a support kayak/SUP/Packraft from the start of the river section to the end of the race.  The only time swimmers will be 'flying solo' is for the first 3 km of the race as they cross lake Te Anau.  

Your support boater will be responsible for carrying your food/drink, keeping an eye on you as you fatigue, shepherding you through the rapids.  They are volunteers and are doing the best they can, but you must still always rely ultimately on your own abilities during the swim.  More detailed safety protocol information will be sent to all swimmers in advanced of the actual swim.

Post race:  Race finishes on Fraser Beach and your vehicles.

Accommodation:  Same as for the 'fast swim'.

FAQs:  There are too many to think of, really.  So this time I'll actually let folks ask away, and then answer.