Kessock Ferry Swim 2022All proceeds to local charities

Posted: Mon 28 Mar 2022

THE NEXT EDITION OF THE KESSOCK FERRY SWIM WILL TAKE PLACE ON SUNDAY 25TH JUNE 2023. ENTRIES WILL OPEN ON VALENTINE'S DAY 2023. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE. This summer, be part of something special in the Highlands. For the first time in over 50 years, the Kessock Ferry Swim will be held again on Saturday 25th June 2022. Be part of a community event with a warm Inverness welcome for all our swimmers. This classic route from South to North Kessock and back again is approximately 1200m long. Take on this stretch of exposed tidal water with an experienced safety support crew by your side. All proceeds from the Kessock Ferry Swim go to local charities.

How would you like to enter?

Standard Entry £60

Enjoy this historic swim with all the modern support and safety measures you could want. The event centre is just metres from the swim start & finish. After your swim, return to our warm indoor changing area and grab your hot drink and light meal (included in the price). Please note this is a personal challenge not a race.

Sponsored Swimmer Entry £30

All the same swim details as above, but you get half price entry if you commit to fundraising a minimum of £100. Funds go to support our registered charity Àban (SC051413) delivering community outdoor programmes throughout Inverness. Each year we will adopt an official charity partner and share 25% of all sponsorship funds with them. For 2022 our charity partner will be Friends of Merkinch Local Nature Reserve (SC037131). As a special thank you for fundraising, all sponsored swimmers will receive a unique Kessock Ferry Swim 2022 memento handmade by Merkinch-based charity The Clay Studio.

If you live in the catchment area of Merkinch Primary School, enter MERKINCH75 at checkout for a 75% discount on either entry type.

Kessock Ferry Swim circa 1954. Highland Photographic Archive
Swim Route
Copyright Ordnance Survey 2022

2022 Charity Partner - Friends of Merkinch Local Nature Reserve

The nature reserve is in an area of Inverness that is the eighth most deprived area in Scotland and we aim to work with local people to improve their lives; both by improving skills with volunteering but also by being part of the community. The benefits of spending time outside in nature are also now well recognised as being good for our mental well-being as well as our physical fitness. Friends of Merkinch Local Nature Reserve believe that everyone deserves access to a green space where they and nature can thrive. We maintain the area with volunteers each week (removing litter, planting trees, maintaining paths and guiding visitors) and offer activities such as guided birdwatching walks and our Junior Rangers programme.

Event Details

We also have an FAQ page that covers any other questions you have.

What's included in the price?

Whether you choose Standard Entry at £60 or Sponsored Swimmer at £30, your experience on the day will be the same. We're aiming to give all swimmers a warm Inverness welcome and a top-quality swim experience, including:

Behind the scenes has been a massive community effort to put in place the logistics of this crossing. It's a busy stretch of waterway with a narrow tidal window in which to complete the swim. Our thanks go to Inverness Harbour Trust, Scottish Canals (Caledonian Canal Team), North Kessock Community Pier, Inverness Marina, Merkinch Local Nature Reserve, Dolphin Spirit, Whale & Dolphin Conservation, UK Coastguard (Aberdeen) & RNLI North Kessock. All these organisations have contributed to making this event possible.

Who can take part?

NB Age restrictions updated 22nd April. If you’re over 12 and confident you can safely complete the distance, then you can take part. Please bear in mind that it is a cold, exposed stretch of water which may be choppy on the day. Aged 12 - 14? You must be accompanied by an adult swimmer throughout the swim. NB all swimmers under the age of 18 must wear a wetsuit in addition to the towfloat which is mandatory for all swimmers.

The swim distance is approximately 1200m. This may vary on the day as precise tidal effect on a swimmer are inherently unpredictable. You should be confident that you can complete this distance in no more than 50 - 55 minutes. After that time the tide starts to run faster and all swimmers will have to be out of the water.

If you live locally, please enter the code ‘MERKINCH75’ to receive a 75% discount on the standard entry fee. We define local as living within the catchment area of Merkinch Primary School.

What are the timings on the day?

Event Timetable

0700 Car park & bike park open

0730 Event centre open

0900 City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band pipe swimmers to the pier

0915 Mandatory safety brief for all swimmers

0930 Estimated start (may vary slightly according to tidal conditions on the day)

1030 Outgoing tide running faster - last swimmers out of the water

1115 Raffle & Presentations

Wetsuits and tow floats

Wetsuit use is optional for swimmers aged 18 and over, but please note the expected water temperature of 11 degrees celsius. Swimmers aged under 18 will be required to wear a wetsuit. All swimmers must use a high visibility tow float. You’re welcome to use your own, or alternatively these are available to hire for an additional fee of £5.

How do I get to the event?

You have four options for travel to the event centre.

What facilities will be available?

The event centre will have the following facilities:

What safety measures are in place?

The most important safety measure is your competence to undertake the swim. Please be honest with yourself about your fitness and experience. You must be confident that you can manage the distance and the water temperature, which is expected to be around 11 degrees celsius.

You will be in very safe hands. We have lots of water safety kayakers, first aiders and powerboats monitoring you all the way around, so you're never far from some friendly support.

If you find yourself struggling, or in need of a little breather, just lay on your back or tread water and pop your hand up. One of our safety team will make their way to you. We have plenty of safety craft on the water and someone will reach you as quickly as possible. Professional first aid cover is provided by Rescue Medics. At the North Kessock Old Ticket Office, there will be a first aid post and a minibus shuttle based for any swimmers unable to complete the return leg.

Your side of the bargain is that you must follow any instructions given to you by the safety team. We’ll be managing a complex tide and weather situation, and may need to make some unpopular decisions in order to keep everyone safe.

Spectator & Resident Info

South Kessock: please do come along to spectate. The swimmers should be setting off around 0950. This year we won't be able to offer catering for spectators in the marquee, but you will be able to pop into the Old Ticket Office.

North Kessock: again, you're so welcome to come and spectate. The first swimmers should reach North Kessock around 1000. There will be hot drinks and cakes available at the North Kessock Old Ticket Office.

"For residents, we want to thank you for patience. It is inevitable that the event will disturb your Saturday morning peace a bit. Our hope is that the boost to local businesses and local charity will make up for it. We really want to stop our participants from clogging up your streets with their cars, and we have done everything we can on that front.
If you're a keen swimmer and you'd like to take part, don't forget to claim your 75% discount for Merkinch residents. If you'd like to spectate, please do come down and revive this old Inverness tradition. And if something really does go wrong, please come to find me and I will personally do all I can to put it right."
Johannes Petersen
What is the swim route?

The swim route starts at South Kessock pier. There are two turn points marked with giant orange swim buoys. You'll start by swimming out towards the North Kessock pier. Just before you reach the pier you'll make your first turn right towards the Kessock Bridge. You'll then swim a short distance to the second buoy before making another turn right to head for the finish back at the South Kessock pier. See the map pictured above.

Full Terms & Conditions

These are displayed again during the booking process.

1.1 “Charity” means the charity partner of the event.
1.2 “Conditions” means these terms and conditions of entry for the Event.
1.3 “Event” means the event named on the Entry Form.
1.4 “Entry Fee” means the price of entry into the Event as set out in the Entry Form.
1.5 “Entry Form” means the website pages which must be completed in order to participate in the Event.
1.6 “Event Information” means any and all information provided by the Event Organiser in relation to the Event.
1.7 “Event Organiser” means Àban Outdoor Ltd (Scotland) Ltd, a company incorporated under the Companies Acts with Company Number SC700785 and having its registered office at 67a Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DU.
1.8 “Online Entry Process” means the Event Organiser’s online registration system participants must use in order to apply, register and pay for their entry to the Event.
1.9 “Participant” means the person named on the Entry Form who will be participating in the Event.

2.1 By registering to take part in the Kessock Ferry Swim you are agreeing to the following conditions of entry and any instructions given to you by the Organisers, officials and marshals before, during or after the event.
2.2 These Conditions shall apply in place of, and prevail over, any terms or conditions (whether or not in conflict or inconsistent with these Conditions) contained or referred to in any documentation submitted by the Participant or in correspondence or elsewhere or implied by trade custom, practice or course of dealing. A variation of these Conditions is only valid if the Event Organiser gives notice to the Participant in writing in any official Event material or correspondence prior to the Event (including via email). The Participant shall be deemed to have accepted these Conditions upon completion of the Entry Form.

3.1 You must be at least 12 years of age on the day of the event to take part in the Kessock Ferry Swim. Swimmers under the age of 14 on the day of the event must swim alongside a specified adult (adult swimmer aged 18 or over on the day of the event).
3.2 All participants acknowledge that the Event is physically strenuous. As such they must be medically fit to participate and take full responsibility for their own personal health and fitness. Participants are advised to consult a doctor before undertaking any strenuous exercise or training programme, or participating in the event.
3.3 You are taking part in the Kessock Ferry Swim at your own risk. The Event Organisers (Àban Outdoor Ltd), a company incorporated under the Companies Acts with Company Number SC700785 and having its registered office at 67a Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DU) will have no responsibility for any risk, loss or costs which you incur in connection with the event and you will indemnify the Organisers and any persons acting on their behalf for any risk, damages, loss or costs arising as a result of your participation in the event. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary personal insurance in connection with the Kessock Ferry Swim.
3.4 While the Event Organiser takes every care with the staging of the Event, the Participant acknowledges that no insurance is taken out by the Event Organiser on the Participant’s behalf. Therefore, any and all insurance (including personal accident or personal item insurance) is the responsibility of the Participant.
3.5 The Participant acknowledges that any Withdrawal on medical grounds will not entitle them to a refund.
3.6 Prior to and during the event you will be responsible for your own safety. The participant will take all reasonable care to ensure the safety of other participants and you will comply promptly with all instructions and guidelines given by the Organisers and any persons acting on their behalf.
3.7 The participant must not deviate from the official route.
3.8 If you retire from the event you must inform the safety team.
3.9 The Participant agrees to abide by all applicable rules and regulations of any relevant sporting governing bodies that may oversee the Event. The Participant shall not be entitled to a refund of the Entry Fees if he or she is disqualified from the Event as a result of an infringement of these Conditions or any such rules and regulations.
3.10 The Event Organiser and/or owners of the venue where the Event is conducted are also entitled to impose additional Event rules upon the Participant from time to time which will be provided or made available to the Participant and will form part of these Conditions. Any relevant rules and regulations may be obtained from the Event website or upon request to the Event Organiser.
3.11 All participants must complete the registration process at the times and on the day as instructed by the Event Information, which will be issued by the Event Organiser before the Event.
3.12 Intentionally blank.
3.13 All participants will be given an event identification wristband at registration, which must be displayed for identification at all times. Participants must not swim under someone else’s event identification number under any circumstances.
3.14 It is the responsibility of the participant to provide suitable, safe swim clothing and equipment, including a high visibility tow float with waistbelt. Swimmers aged under 18 on the day of the event must wear a wetsuit.
3.15 Entries are not permissible from people carrying unsuitable objects or wearing fancy dress etc.
3.16 The Event Organiser may introduce cut off times as it sees fit as part of the Event rules, being limits on the time taken to complete sections of the Event (as initiated by the Event Organiser at its discretion) to ensure the safe and proper running of the Event. Consequently, participants may be instructed to withdraw from the event in accordance with imposed cut off times.
3.17 The Event Organiser reserves the right at any time to remove the Participant from the Event or prevent the Participant participating in the Event if in the Organiser’s sole discretion, it considers such action necessary for safety reasons or the proper enjoyment of the Event by other participants or for any other reasonable reason. No refund of the Entry Fee shall be made if the Participant has acted negligently, maliciously, with wilful misconduct or otherwise without due care and attention for the Event or other participants, so as to cause his/her removal.
3.18 Throughout the event, participants will be checked for their suitability to continue on grounds of capability including their equipment and state of health. If any of the marshals and medical staff believe that the safety of the individual will be compromised by their continued participation, they reserve the right to ask that person or persons to stop. If that person or persons continue on the route they will no longer be officially participating in the event and Àban Outdoor Ltd (Scotland) Ltd and associates take no further responsibility for their participation.
3.19 Intentionally blank.
3.20 The Event Organiser will email all communications including newsletters and other relevant Event information to the email address provided by the Participant at the time of Entry. The Event Organiser shall not be held responsible for any computer malfunctions or other technical anomalies that may occur in the process of sending out such email communications that may lead to failure of receipt by the Participant. To ensure receipt of all Event Information, it is the sole responsibility of the Participant to ensure they provide the Event Organiser with the correct email address and postal address and to inform the Event Organiser of any changes fourteen (14) days prior to the Event.
3.21 All decisions and rulings made by the Event Organiser are final. Accordingly, the Participant will comply with all Event rules and all instructions and guidelines given by stewards, marshals, and safety personnel. The Participant acknowledges and agrees that the Event Organiser will organise and run the Event and will have sole authority and be the final arbiter on all decisions relating to the safety, running and organisation of the Event, the rules of the Event.
3.22 These Conditions and the entry into the Event are personal to the Participant and he/she may not assign any of his/her rights or obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the Event Organiser. The Participant represents and warrants that the entry is purchased for personal use only, that it cannot be donated free of charge or otherwise given away, and that it is not purchased as part of any form of business or commercial activity (save as expressly authorised by the Event Organiser), and in particular, that the entry may not be resold or offered for resale by anyone whether at a premium or otherwise and may not be used for advertising, promotion use as a prize (including in competitions and sweepstakes), travel packages, or for any other trade purposes. Donation, give away, resale or attempted resale is grounds for seizure or cancellation without refund or other compensation.
3.23 The Participant acknowledges and accepts that circumstances concerning an Event may change from time to time for reasons out of the Event Organiser’s reasonable control or otherwise, without the Event Organiser incurring any liability and without any rights to Withdrawal being accrued by the Participant other than set out in clause 5 below. By way of example, and for illustration purposes only, the exact route of any part of the Event may change but such changes/issues will not allow the Participant to withdraw and nor will the Event Organiser be deemed liable except as otherwise set out herein.
3.24 The event regulations will remain relevant regardless of the headline sponsor or sub sponsor.

4.1 The Participant shall complete the Entry Form online and submit it together with payment of the Entry Fee online in accordance with the Event Organisers website.
4.2 The Participant shall not be eligible or entitled to participate in the Event until full payment of the Entry Fee has been received by the Event Organiser. No payment shall be deemed to have been received until the Event Organiser has received cleared funds.
4.3 The Participant acknowledges that all entry fees, related tickets and purchases are non refundable.

5.1 The Event Organiser operates a fourteen (14) day cooling off period. Accordingly, the Participant is entitled to withdraw his/her application to participate provided the Event Organiser receives written notice of cancellation within fourteen (14) days of payment of Entry Fee (payment being deemed made for the purpose of this clause 5.1 by clicking on the make payment link on the secure payment webpage). During this fourteen (14) day period the Participant is able to withdraw his/her entry and receive a full refund of the Entry Fee by emailing or writing to the Event Organiser at Àban Outdoor Ltd (Scotland) Ltd, 67a Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DU. The notice must be received before the end of the 14 day cooling off period.
5.2 We reserve the right to retain £10.00 from any refund given in accordance with condition 5.1 as a contribution to administrative costs.
5.3 The Participant acknowledges that places for the Event are limited and payment of the Entry Fee and reservation of the place has an effect on logistics and the subscription for the Event. Accordingly, the Participant agrees to notify the Event Organiser in writing (or by email) as soon as possible of his / her intention to withdraw and that :
5.3.1 if the Participant withdraws from the Event 8 weeks (56 days) or less before the commencement of the Event weekend he/she will receive no refund and he/she shall not be entitled to transfer his/her place to another person; and
5.3.2 if the Participant withdraws from the Event more than 8 weeks (56 days) before the commencement of the Event, he/she can transfer his/her place to another swimmer. He/she will need to find the swimmer to transfer the place to, as the Event Organiser does not manage a list of transfers. The Participant (and original swimmer) shall be solely responsible for recovery of the Event Fee from any transferee. The original place will be automatically withdrawn once the unique transfer link has been sent to the new swimmer and the transfer is complete. All transfers must be complete at least 6 weeks (42 days) before the commencement of the Event.
5.3.3 Transfer of places will require payment of a £10 admin fee, payable by the original swimmer.
5.4 The Event Organiser reserves the right to alter the start time of the Event. In the event of a change of start time the Participant will be notified of the revised start time with as much notice as reasonably practicable. No refund in full or in part shall be made for any change in start time for an Event provided the Event takes place on the specified date of the Event.
5.5 The Event Organiser reserves the right to change the date of the Event. In the event of such change of date of the Event, the Participant is permitted to take part in any re-scheduled Event, but will otherwise not be entitled to any refund in whole or in part of the Entry Fee. If the date of the Event is changed, there shall be no further liability (including any travel or accommodation costs) whatsoever arising from such change of format.
5.6 The Event Organiser reserves the right to amend the Event format, route or distance in their sole discretion or cancel the Event due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control or for any safety related reason.
5.6.1 If the Event is changed to another reasonably similar format, route or distance the Participant will not be entitled to any refund and there shall be no further liability whatsoever arising from such change of format.
5.6.2 Any cancellation of the Event will be communicated to the Applicant as soon as reasonably practicable in the circumstances, including written notice, by email, text message, TV and / or radio broadcast. If the Event is cancelled, the Event Organiser may (at its sole discretion) reschedule the Event at a later date either at the same venue or at an alternative venue. Participants will have the right to take part in the re-staged Event, but will otherwise not receive any refund of the Entry Fee. If Participants are unable to take part in the re-staged Event, there will be no entitlement to any refund, in whole or in part, of the Entry Fee, with no further liability of the Event Organiser whatsoever arising from such cancellation.

6.1 Notwithstanding anything in these Conditions, the Event Organiser shall not be liable to the Participant for any liability in contract, delict (including negligence) or otherwise for any loss of business, revenue or profits, anticipated savings or wasted expenditure, loss or damage of or to personal equipment belonging to the Participant or any indirect or consequential loss or damage whatsoever (notwithstanding that such loss was within the contemplation of the parties at the date of submitting the Entry Form) arising out of the Participant taking part in the Event or any other matter arising under these Conditions nor for an aggregate amount greater than the Entry Fee paid by the Participant. Without limiting the foregoing, the Event Organiser will not be liable for any actions of any spectators or other third parties unless otherwise set out herein.
6.2 Accordingly the Participant hereby expressly and irrevocably renounces, for him/herself, heirs and successors in title the right to any recourse or claims whatsoever against the Event Organiser, its officers, employees, suppliers and/or sponsors and/or persons for whom it is answerable (“Associated Parties”) as a result of any kind of physical, mental or other loss or damage of whatsoever nature (including any loss of earnings, profits, or pain and suffering) suffered by the Participant, directly or indirectly, or by his/her family or by any dependents and caused by an event in any way relating to the Participant’s participation in Event, and the Participant hereby undertakes, for him/herself, heirs and successors in title to indemnify and hold harmless the Event Organiser, and the Associated Parties for any costs and/or amount, which they or any of them may be required to pay as a result of any aforesaid recourse or claim by whomsoever made. The Participant also agrees to indemnify the Event Organiser and the Associated Parties for any claim, actions, liabilities or losses resulting from any breach of the Participant’s declarations above and/or the Participant’s negligent acts or omissions and/or wilful misconduct.
6.3 Nothing in these Conditions shall exclude or limit the liability of the Event Organiser:
6.3.1 for death or personal injury caused by the Event Organiser’s negligence;
6.3.2 for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or
6.3.3 for any matter which it would be illegal for the Event Organiser to exclude or attempt to exclude liability.
6.4 This clause 6 shall be read and construed and shall have effect subject to any limitation imposed by any applicable law.

7.1 The Event Organiser will use personal data collected in connection with the Kessock Ferry Swim in accordance with its privacy notice:

8.1 These Conditions (and the documents referred to herein) constitute the entire agreement and understanding of the parties and supersede any previous agreement between the parties relating to the Event. The Participant acknowledges and agrees that in submitting the Entry Form (and the documents referred to therein) it does not rely on, and shall have no remedy in respect of, any statement, representation, warranty, understanding, promise or assurance (whether negligently or innocently made) of any person (whether party to these Conditions or not) other than as expressly set out in these Conditions.
8.2 Nothing in these Conditions shall constitute or be deemed to constitute a partnership between the parties hereto or constitute or be deemed to constitute either party as agent of the other for any purpose whatsoever and neither party shall have authority or power to bind the other or to contract in the name of the other in any way or for any purpose.
8.3 No waiver by either party of a breach or a default hereunder shall be effective unless in writing and signed by both parties and any such waiver shall not be deemed to be a waiver of any subsequent breach or default of the same or similar nature.
8.4 To the extent permitted by law all provisions of these Conditions shall be severable and no provision shall be affected by the invalidity or unenforceability of any other provision with the remaining provisions if necessary, being so amended as shall be necessary to give effect to the spirit of these Conditions so far as possible.
8.5 These Conditions shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of Scotland and any dispute arising hereunder shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts.

9.1 In the event of an accident or illness whilst taking part in this event, I hereby give permission for Event Organisers Medical staff to initiate medical treatment and to inform my Next of Kin in case of hospitalisation.
9.2 To the best of my knowledge I submit a true and accurate description of my medical history and current condition. I agree to take part in this event at my own risk and will not hold Event Organisers Medical staff responsible in the event of acute illness, injury or death.
9.3 Participants must agree to inform the Event Organisers Medical staff of any medical or other condition that might affect their ability to take part in the event.

10.1 I understand and agree that I participate in this event entirely at my own risk, that I must rely on my own ability in dealing with all hazards and that I must swim in a manner which is safe for myself and all others. I am aware that when swimming the function of the marshals is only to indicate direction and I must decide whether the movement is safe. I agree that no liability what so ever shall attach to the event organiser, Àban Outdoor Ltd (Scotland) Ltd, in respect of injury, loss or damage suffered by me or by reason of the event, however caused. I also understand that entry fees and related purchases are non refundable, non transferable and cannot be deferred.

Contact Us

For event enquiries please email or call 01463 830386.

We are grateful for the support of the following companies that have made this event possible.

Visit Inverness & Loch Ness is the official website for everything you need in one place to plan the perfect holiday, day out or most exciting adventure.

Gael Force Group is a supplier of marine equipment and all types of gear that supports people to safely enjoy their time on the water - whether that be for leisure or commercial applications.

Macgregor Industrial Supplies prides itself on being a quality, cost-effective and value adding industrial supplier.

North Kessock Dental Practice is a family run dental practice dedicated to helping you achieve the teeth and smile you have always wanted.

Highland Printers

Highland Printers is your Local Print Studio for Print, Design & Display - your source for corporate stationary, booklets, flyers & leaflets, as well as flags, banners, and websites too.

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