On the Day

Posted: Wed 1 Sep 2021

On the day of the event, there are a few key things that you need to know.

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 below.

We reserve the right to amend the swim route on the day. For example, high winds may make the crossing unsafe, but we may still be able to offer a safe alternative route which hugs the coast without going over to North Kessock. Please see Section 5 of the terms & conditions for full details.

Is it a Mass Start?

All 300 swimmers will be led by the pipe band onto the pier at 1645. There will be signs along the length of the pier showing estimated swim times (30 mins / 40 mins / 50 mins / 60 mins). You should stand in a position that matches your estimated swim time. I.e if you think you are going to be one of the first finishers in <30 mins, stand at the very front of the pier with your feet almost in the water. The longer you think you will take, the further back up the pier you should stand.

After the mandatory safety briefing, there will be one long blast of the horn to start the swim at 1700. Please enter the water and start swimming immediately; it is important that we get everyone in the water and moving. Our team will be there to manage this process and make it feel safe for everyone.

What are the Timings on the Day?

Event Timetable

1300 Car park & bike park open

1400 Registration open

1630 Dip area open for acclimatisation

1645 Registration closes, all swimmers go to the pier

1700 Mandatory safety brief for all swimmers

1715 Estimated start (may vary slightly according to tidal conditions on the day)

1815 Outgoing tide running faster - last swimmers out of the water

1900 Raffle & Presentations

What Facilities are Available?

The event centre will have the following facilities:

How do I Get to the Event?

You have four options for travel to the event centre. Event Location

Spectator & Resident Info

South Kessock: Please do come along to spectate. The swimmers should be setting off around 1715. 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 1725. 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 Sunday afternoon peace. 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 join in with this local tradition. If something really does go wrong, please come to find us and we will personally do all we can to put it right."