Event Safety and Rules

Safety Guidelines

  • Swimmers are responsible for their own physical condition and are urged to train appropriately for the event (be able to swim the full distance and have open water swimming experience) and have a medical check prior to entry if required.
  • It is important to note that, while every effort will be made to ensure a safe and fun event, organisers and crew are unable to guarantee swimmer safety
  • Swimmers with lower confidence are encouraged to request a different coloured ‘nervous swimmer cap’ at the safety briefing for easy identification and support
  • Surf Life Saving New Zealand lifeguards will be patrolling the course for the duration of your event
  • Medical staff will be on-site with staff and resources at all events
  • A swimmer deemed incapable of completing the course in a satisfactory condition will be brought to shore by lifeguards
  • While in the water, all swimmers must comply with the directions of lifeguards, the Harbour Master or Coastguard
  • If assistance is required during the swim, swimmers are required to raise one arm so water safety personnel can assist. If this is not possible, the swimmer should roll onto their back to float in a relaxed position and try to alert a lifeguard
  • In the event of witnessing an injury/accident/medical incident during the swim, report this to one of the lifeguards on the water or on land as soon as possible
  • In the event of a withdraw, please alert a clearly marked event official. Timing chips need to be returned to indicate the withdrawal
  • All swimmers should be vigilant when swimming around buoys and passing other swimmers
  • Swimmers are recommended to wear a wetsuit for assistance with buoyancy and warmth
  • All swimmers should think about post-race hydration – we recommend you bring some fluids to hydrate with after your swim


Event Rules

  • All swimmers must be present at the appropriate safety briefing
  • Swimmers must start the swim within the designated area and in the start wave allocated to them
  • Swimmers must swim the course as instructed in the safety-briefing. Failure to do this will result in disqualification
  • Each swimmer must wear the cap provided in the swim pack. If more than one swim cap is being worn, the event cap must be worn on the outside.
  • No swimmer shall be permitted to use or wear any device which may be an aid to their speed, endurance or buoyancy (with the exception of a wetsuit) except in the 500m where soft flipper and/or pull buoys maybe be worn. Goggles, event swim cap, nose clip and earplugs may be used in all events.
  • Swim Paddles or flipper/fins are not permitted to be used
  • No swimmer may use alcohol or any illegal, detrimental or dangerous drugs, stimulants, depressants or other substances with the intent to improve their performance, eliminate the sense of fatigue or for any other purpose
  • Swimmers shall be allowed to use grease or other such substances providing these are not, in the opinion of the Event Director or Event Manager, excessive
  • Lifeguards, the Event Director and Event Manager shall have ULTIMATE authority to remove a competitor from the swim if the competitor is judged to be physically incapable of continuing the swim without risk of serious injury or death.
  • No outside assistance is allowed except from technical officials or Surf Life Saving NZ
  • Purposely obstructing or impeding the progress of other swimmers in the field is prohibited. Doing so will result in disqualification
  • Good sportsmanship is expected of all swimmers.  Fraud, theft and acts of grossly unsportsmanlike conduct are grounds for disqualification. The determination of whether an act is deemed unsportsmanlike is at the sole discretion of the Event Director
  • Swimmers are expected to heed directions and instructions of all event officials and public authorities
  • Participation in any event in the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series events is at the discretion of the Event Director who reserves the right to reject or withdraw any swimmer
  • In the interest of safety for all our swimmers and staff; all swimmers will follow, and abide by, the instructions and mandates from the Ministry of Health

The Event Director’s decision is final.

Any protests regarding decisions made by Event Director or Event Manager must be made in person and received by the Event Director or Event Manager within two hours of finishing the event. You can locate the Event Manager or Event Director through the Registration Tent.

Full event Terms & Conditions can be found here.