Swim rules

                        +++ The Derwent River Big Swim Rules+++


Our solo Swim rules are the same as written on the Marathon Swimmers Federation Rules site. Except that Jammas are forbidden on the swim as are fastskins and wetsuits. Regular men's porous brief swimsuit is the rule. Swimsuits are not to be below the groin. Women’s suits must not cover the shoulder and men’s suits should not reach above the waste.

Start and finish of the swim.


  • The start of the swim will be under the bridge. The end of the swim will be through the bridge. The swimmer may exit the swim once they are on the other side of the bridge after they have completed their swim. The only exception is if their chosen exit is blocked, and no other route is available. The swimmer will not be penalised if the pilot deems there is no safe exit point.

Double Swim.


  • The swimmer will abide by the Start and finish rules of the swim. Whilst the swimmer is at the half way mark of the swim the swimmer must swim around the chosen pillar if and only it safe to do so. The swimmer will not be penalised if the pilot deems there is no safe turning point.

Double Reverse Swim.

  • The same rules of the Double Swim

Support Swimmers:

  • A support swimmer (or swimmers) may accompany the solo swimmer for a limited duration. Multiple support swims are allowed but should not occur consecutively. The Derwent River Big Swim allows a maximum of one hour per support swim and a minimum of one hour between support swims. The support swimmer may not intentionally touch the solo swimmer and must position him or herself at all times slightly behind the solo swimmer. At no stage during the swim may the support swimmer be in front of the solo swimmer. This will result in the disqualification of the swimmer.

Duo Swimmers.

  • The Derwent River Big Swim rules: Duo is a two-person team, allowing you and another swimmer to alternate and swim the Derwent River Big Swim together. The rules stipulate that there will be 2 by 1-hour swims recurring till the course is completed or disqualification will be incurred.

Rules for Relay Teams

Relay Teams

  • May consist of two or more persons - and will be classified accordingly. Team Members' names shall be given to the Official Observer before the actual commencement of the swim.

'Junior' Relay Teams

  • Must comprise Six Swimmers aged 14 years or older, on the day the Swim commences, but under the age of 16 years at the completion of the Swim.

Each swimmer

  • shall swim for one hour each time he/she enters the water.
  • a take-over must be made within five minutes of the ending of the preceding swimmer's leg -and to effect the take-over the new swimmer shall swim up from behind the preceding swimmer.

Team members

  • shall rotate in the same order throughout the swim.


  • is forbidden in relay swims

Tandem swimming.

  • Both swimmers must swim together at the same pace the fastest of the two swimmers must swim the pace of the slower swimmer.

Minimum and maximum age limits

  • The minimum age for a swimmer is 16yrs of age on the day of the swim. An independently verified qualifying swim of 6-hour's (solo or in a known event) needs to be completed before attempting the Derwent River Big Swim.

  • There is no maximum age limit.

                        +++++++++++Important Notice +++++++++++++++

I also cannot stress enough that all parties and that includes everyone who is aboard the vessel whether swimming or not, read and abide by the Derwent River Big Swim  rules whilst the swimmer is in the water. Failure to adhere to these rules may result in a disqualification of the swimmer consequently the swimmer will not be ratified. 

Person aboard the vessel may wish to take photos and video footage of the swimmer whilst they are attempting their swim this is fine and is promoted, please endeavour to make sure if you are uploading digital footage that these images are appropriate and my not offend people .

On a personal note, I look forward to meeting many more swimmers in the next couple of months whom are attempting this Challenging event.