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Athletes & supporters

Our most frequently asked questions for athletes & supporters at the Exmoor Open Water Swim
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  1. Why did you cancel the swim? 

The swim was cancelled on safety grounds. Wind conditions are predicted to be at Force 5-7 and above. It will be coming up from the South and blowing directly up the lake. Normal operating conditions state that it is not safe to run water based activities in winds above Force 4. The safety and enjoyment of our competitors is the most important thing to us. It was a very difficult decision to take but we have taken it with safety in mind and we hope you understand. Please read the statement from the South West Lakes. ”In consultation with the organisers of the Exmoor Swim and referencing our operating procedures and risk assessments, we have deemed the conditions on Sunday too dangerous to go ahead with the event at Wimbleball Lake. All in-land bodies of water are different and our local experience and expertise suggest that the wind direction and forecast wind speeds would put competitors, staff and volunteers at un-acceptable risk. The current forecast suggest a “Red Flag” for the whole of Sunday, meaning no on the water activity from Wimbleball activity centre”

  1. The weather doesn’t look very bad on my weather app?

Our experienced safety team are the most suited to make the decision to cancel the event. They have multiple years experience and use their most trusted app – XC Weather – for the Dulverton location. This team of experts know how dangerous the conditions can be and what these conditions will look like on the lake. 

  1. Why can’t I have a refund or roll my ticket onto next year?

Our financial position does not allow us to be flexible with our Terms and Conditions. These state that we do not offer refunds and that we recommended that you take out your own personal insurance to cover cancellation. >> “We do not offer refunds. Where an event is canceled or curtailed at short notice because of adverse weather, pollution or low water levels or other factors outside of our reasonable control. We shall not be liable to make any refund or pay any compensation. We recommend you consider taking out appropriate travel insurance to protect yourself against such eventualities.” This year due to low ticket sales and increased costs we were not expecting to make a profit. Having to cancel within 48 hours due to adverse weather, we still had to pay the majority of our costs to run the event. As a result we simply do not have the funds to offer refunds or roll tickets on to next year. Full accounts will be available through Companies House in January 2024. 

  1. Why haven’t you deferred to another date?

We are unable to transfer the swim to another date. An event like this takes months to organise plus this is the last weekend that the lake and staff are available to work at these events. If you purchased our insurance you have the option to roll over to next year’s date or request a refund. Please complete this form >>https://forms.gle/KmTbCtJeaqjE6nwq8

  1. I have ordered and paid for merchandise. Will I still receive it?

Yes you can. Please email info@exmoorswim.co.uk with your details and we will send it out as soon as possible. Your patience is appreciated.

  1. Can I still have a swim hat?

Unfortunately, we are unable to post everyone’s swim hat. You will be able to pick up a swim hat from us in Braunton. We will send out a date in due course.

  1. I paid the specific event insurance fee of £4 – how do I get my money back?

If you took out the insurance please fill out this form and we will get back to you >> https://forms.gle/KmTbCtJeaqjE6nwq8 

  1. I have ordered merchandise but don’t want it now – can i get a refund?

Yes. We will be issuing refunds to everyone who no longer wants their merchandise. Please email info@exmoorswim.co.uk

Finally: With regards to a discount for next years event, this is something we are considering for next year but we have nothing to confirm as yet, please bear with us whilst we find our way through this.

How long is the swim?

1km, 2km, 4km and 6km “elite”

How much does it cost to enter?

Prices held the same since 2020:

If you would like a FREE charity entry all you have to do is raise £200 for our main charity: Plastic Free North Devon. You get free parking and a free T-shirt too. When you enter just select FREE charity entry and your chosen distance and we will be in touch. Any questions ask us: info@plasticfreenorthdevon.org

1km: (early bird price: £28 – SOLD OUT for 2023) £30 standard entry, junior under 16 price is £19

2km and 4km are the same price: (early bird price: £40 SOLD OUT for 2023) £43 standard entry, junior under 16 price is £29)

6km: (early bird price: £56 SOLD OUT for 2023) £60 standard entry

Prices for junior entries (age 16 and under), see age limit FAQ for more details

What date is the event?

Sunday 24 September 2023

What is the Address?

Wimbleball Lake, Brompton Regis, Dulverton, Somerset. TA22 9NU

What time is registration?

Registration will open 60 minutes before the start of the first event (6km). You will need to register at Race HQ on site.

Provisional start time of 09:00. So we will have registration open at 08:00

Parking will open at 07:00 and NOT before, please don’t arrive earlier than 07:00

What time is the event briefing?

The event briefing will be live online via zoom. The briefing will take place on Sunday 17 September 2023. at 20:00. The briefing will be recorded and a a link will be shared.

What time does the event start?

Here are our provisional start times, however this is subject to change depending on numbers. To help you plan we would ask that you arrive at Race HQ about 30 minutes before your (provisional) start time.

6km – 09:00, 4km – from 09: 30, 2km – from 10:15 and 1km – from 11:30

Will there be drink stations on the lake?

The 6km and 4km swimmers will have access to water and jelly babies at the 2km mark. Swimmers will not exit the lake until the end of the race. You do not need to exit the in between loops.

We will have hot drinks in our event village at the end of the race.

What is the age limit for participants?

You must be at least age 12 on the day of the swim to be able to enter. Those who are aged between 14 and 16 on the day of the swim may enter the 1km, 2km or 4km swims. Those who are aged between 12 and 14 on the day of the swim may enter the 1km or 2km swim. If you are under 16 on the day of swim you cannot enter the 6km swim. To be eligible for a junior priced ticket at any distance, as long as you comply with the above age rules relevant to the distance you want to swim, you must be 16 or under on the day of the swim. If you are over the age of 16 on the day of the swim you must enter and pay the adult price. If you are aged 18 on the day of the swim, you may swim any distance, however you need written permission from a parent or guardian with you on the day. All those under 18 MUST wear a wetsuit – no exceptions. To be able to swim skins you must be 18 on or by the day of the swim

Swimmers aged between 12 and 16 will have to complete a waiver at when entering. Every swimmer under the age of 16 must have a parent or guardian who is responsible for them on the day. Ask your child’s swim or surf life saving coach before you enter, get advice. You must have open water swim experience to enter. It is not the same as swimming in a pool. You must have previous swam in cold water before you arrive on the day and undertaken the relevant training to be able to complete the swim. PARENTS/CARERS: Please do not overestimate your child’s ability to swim in open water. If you want any further info or advice please email us: info@exmoorswim.co.uk.

What is the age limit for volunteers?

You need to be 16 by by 24 September 2023 to volunteer. Volunteers under 18 will need written permission from a parent or guardian.

When will I receive my event information pack?

10 days to 2 weeks before the event (this will be an online pack). Timing chips, swim hat etc. will be collected on the day of the race from Race HQ. We are NOT doing self registration. You will need to come and see us at Race HQ, say HI and collect your pack!

Are there timing chips?


Are there prizes?

Each swimmer will receive a participation medal – which is also a handy bottle opener and fridge magnet.

There will be separate gold, silver and bronze medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd for males and females for each distance and age group. We will have prizes for the overall winners for for each distance for wetsuit and non-wetsuit “skins” swimmers. Remember : only those who enter as a mass start qualify for gold, silver or bronze medals.

Age groups are:

Juniors (under 16s)
Youth (16-20)
Senior (20-39)
Veteran (40+)
Super Veteran (50+)
Vintage (60+)
Super Vintage (70+)

If you are placed on the podium – as confirmed by the results – your will be able to collect your gold, silver or bronze medal on the day from Race HQ. Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each race distance for skins and non skins will also be at Race HQ for collection.

Who will be King and Queen of The Moor?

We will have also be celebrating our oldest swimmers taking part in the Exmoor Swim as King and Queen of The Moor. Plus there will be titles of Ice King and Ice Queen for those swimming “skins” of course!

Are you up for the challenge? Share with someone who you think could take the 2023 title!

How experienced do I need to be?

The event is aimed at giving all people the opportunity to swim outdoors in a stunning location. To take part in the 2km or 4km you need to be a competent swimmer and at least be able to swim 1-mile in a swimming pool (64 lengths) in under 45 minutes. However, please ensure that you get experience of swimming in open water, are confident in achieving the distance and are comfortable in your wetsuit prior to taking part.

For those with more experience, who would like to swim at a faster pace, and would like to swim a longer distance, try the “elite” 6km course which starts first and completes one loop of the 4km course and one loop of the 2km course. To take part you should be able to swim 1-mile in a swimming pool in under 28 minutes (this is for safety reasons). There will be separate medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd for males and females, with prizes for the winners.

For “skins” swimmers who would like to swim the 6km course but would not meet the 28 minutes per mile pace, please contact us via info@exmoorswim.co.uk.

1km swimmers will be taking part in a non-competitive “time-trial” format. You will be given up to an hour from the first starter to complete the course. If you are making good progress and the safety cover are confident you will complete the course you will be allowed – and encouraged all the way – to continue! Of course we still time you.

Can I swap my swim distance?

Yes, but only if you submit your request at least one month prior to the event. If you are taking part in the 6km you can stop after you have swam your 4km loop and be given the time for your 4km swim, but will not be eligible for medals/prizes.

In the event of changing to the 6km “elite” distance you will have to pay the difference in entry cost as well as confirm you meet the qualifying criteria of swimming 1-mile in a pool in under 28 minutes. If you swap from the 6km to the 4km/2km/1km you will only get a refund of the difference if you submit your request more than one month from the event.

Can I swim without a wetsuit?

Yes. To swim “skins” you must be at least 18 years old on the day of the swim – unfortunately, no exceptions. You can apply to compete without a wetsuit or swim “skins”, please tick the appropriate box when entering.  You will confirm that you have or will completed sufficient training for the distance and temperature for your swim, as well as confirming that you have not been given medical advice to avoid swimming without a wetsuit. If you did not confirm this in advance you will not be able to swim “skins” on the day.

For information, the water temperature in 2022 was over 16.5C – but it has been as low as 14.5C. If you wish to change to wetsuit swimming on the day, please let Race HQ know so that your results can be amended to the correct category. 

Do I need to fill in a non-wetsuit form?

If you do not wish to swim in a full wetsuit, i.e. sleeveless, shorty or skins, you do NOT have to complete a non-wetsuit participation form. By completing the registration form and selecting and requesting to swim in skins you will need to complete the waiver as part of your registration.

Are there cut-off times for the different distances?


For the 4km, 2km and 1km, if you are making good progress and are not struggling, e.g. suffering from the cold, then we will accompany you to the finish, or move you along the course if necessary.

6km “Elite”

To reduce time spent in the water – as well as to avoid conflict with 2km and 4km swimmers – you need to complete the first 2km in under 48 minutes, or 4km in under 1hr 36 minutes. If you do not meet this cut-off time you may not be allowed to continue. In this case no refunds will be given but you will be given the time for the 2km or 4km distance.

NB: If weather and water conditions are poor on the day, the Race Director has the discretion to change the cut-off times for all distances.

When will I receive my results?

Results will be available on line immediately after the event (as soon as we have access to a Wi-Fi signal to upload them!). We are not providing print outs of results on the day.

What is the cancellation policy?

We do not offer refunds.

Deferring your ticket: We understand the frustration of injuries and therefore if you become unable to take part in the event for any reason your entry fees may be credited for use on a future Exmoor Swim Event. You must defer your place by 60 days of the race date. After that, no credits, deferrals or refunds will be permitted. If no Exmoor Swim events are organised you will not receive a refund after deferral. You must use your deferred place within 180 days of the race date. Following the conclusion of the 180 days you will not be able to defer your place. 

Transfer a ticket to a friend. Ticket transfers – Person to person: Enabling person to person ticket transfers will allow participants to send a transfer request to another person. This person will then have to complete their own registration and make payment for the ticket. Once this is done the original participant will receive a refund for their ticket. This must take place at least 30 days before the event. After that no credits or refunds will be permitted. If no Twin Moors Ltd events are organised you will not receive a refund after deferral.

Where an event is cancelled or curtailed at short notice because of adverse weather, pollution or low water levels or other factors outside of our reasonable control. We shall not be liable to make any refund or pay any compensation. We recommend you consider taking out appropriate travel insurance to protect yourself against such eventualities. 

Full terms and conditions are available via: https://exmoorswim.co.uk/terms-conditions/

Floats etc

We ask you not to bring a toe float. We have ample safety cover who watch swimmers via their brightly coloured hats. Tow floats makes sighting swimmers harder, by doubling the number of brightly coloured objects in the water and may entangle other swimmers.

Snorkels, hand paddles, and fins are not permitted. If you require these for medical reasons, please declare this on your swimmer disclaimer. You may wear reef shoes.

Please do not wear headphones, so that the lifeguards and our kayak team are able to get your attention if needed.

Most swimmers with personal medication tuck it up the sleeve of their wetsuit. If this doesn’t cover your needs and you want to use a tow float for the purpose, please contact the Race Director at info@exmoorswim.co.uk

Can I buy race merchandise?

Yes. You can buy race merchandise during online entry for the event and via our shop. This will be available to collect on race day only. A limited amount of merchandise will be available to purchase on the day. All profit to charity.

Will there be food and drink on site?

Yes – there will be a hot drinks and snacks on site. (details to be circulated in advance).

Are there showers?

Yes, there are limited showers on site

Are there toilets?

Yes – there are portaloo toilets available by the start/finish area and toilet blocks by the car park and activity centre.

Is there a campsite nearby?

Yes, Wimbleball Lake is park of South West Lakes Trust. There is a campsite just 200m walk away from the startline of our swim. Look here for more details

Is there car parking available?

Yes. All day parking is available for competitors and spectators near the Cafe as you enter the site. Whilst we do no enforce a parking charge. We would ask that you consider making a donation to help us cover the costs of operating the car park. Please share cars where possible.

Can I raise money for charity?

Yes. If you want a FREE place and can raise a minimum of £200 in sponsorship please select your FREE place and your distance when entering and PFND will be in touch. You get free entry and a free Exmoor Swim T-shirt. Any questions: info@plasticfreenorthdevon.org. Take a look here at what they do for the North Devon Community https://plasticfreenorthdevon.org

You can also raise money for any charity and we would love to hear about your fundraising exploits. If you would like to raise money for one of our partner charities, then you can use the links below.

Family Compass

Children’s Hospice South West

Somerset Wildlife Trust

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km swim
  • Distances
The “elite” only* 6km course takes on one lap of the 4km course and one lap of the 2km course.
km swim
  • Distances
The 4km route takes the swimmers on tour of the lake, with stunning views of the bays.
km swim
  • Distances
The 2km course is a single long loop taking in three bays of the lake!
km swim
  • Distances
1km course for those with less training or new to open water swimming!