Frequently asked questions

How cold is the lake?


Depends. Lake temperatures sit around 16/17C in mid-January, but can drop to 14/15C after a big rain or snowfall or even climb to 19/20C in a heatwave. We post recent temp readings on the home page in the 'speech bubble' beside the main logo




Do I have to wear a wetsuit?


No, wetsuits are not compulsory. We recommend them, especially for long races. If you are susceptible to cold or are inexperienced in fresh water, please consider wearing a wetsuit, but as 'No Wetsuit' is a thing, we have 'No Wetsuit' categories in the longer 2.5km, 3.8km & 10km swims.




What conditions would cause a cancellation?


If lake conditions prevent the water safety crew from keeping competitors safe, the event could be altered, postponed (moved to the reserve day) or cancelled. Anything that puts people at risk or makes swimming unsafe could be cause for cancellation. If the Event is cancelled, refunds will not be made. The cutoff wind speed for postponment or ultimately cancellation is 22knots from a Northwesterly/Westerly direction.




How do I enter?


Click the ENTER button on our homepage. Entry is by online pre-registration ONLY. Online entry closes at 7pm Thursday 24 January 2019. Increased fees apply from Monday 21 January 2019.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no in-person registrations at Kai Whakapai Cafe or on the day (excepting Little Gems). You must register online by 24th January!




I registered, but now I want to change to a different race. Can I do that?


Yup, if there is space in the event you want. Send us an email.




I registered, but now I cannot race. Can I get a refund?


Before 16th December 2018, you may request a refund of 75% of the entry fee. After 16th December 2018, entry fees are non-refundable and cannot be transferred to another person.




What do I get if I win my event?


Prize money (10% of total entry fees) will be split equally between the fastest female and male finishers of The Ruby (2.5km) and The Big Ruby. Trophies will be awarded to the fastest female and male finishers in The Ruby10 and The Big Ruby. Additional prizes may be presented.

If you win your age group, congratulations! Please understand that we don’t make age group presentations, because there are too many positions - (5 races, 2 genders, 7 age groups = 70 1st place swimmers).




Are there separate categories for “non-wetsuit” swimmers?


Yes, but it means you must swim in togs (a plain old swimsuit). Swim skins, neoprene shorts, FINA approved swimwear (anything with enhanced buoyancy, compression, material) does not count. Skin means 'skin'.




I am a strong swimmer, but I am under the minimum age. Can I still swim?


If you are under the allowed age for a given race, you must apply to compete. This requires you submit written consent by a parent/guardian AND a written recommendation from your swim coach. You must receive written approval from the Race Administration in response to your application.

Underage competitors will be required to tow an inflated orange safety buoy; this is to help identify them to safety marshals.

Little Gems 200m - 6 – 11 years old.

The Jetty 600m - 12 years old minimum.

The Return Of The Jetty 1.2km - 14 years old minimum.

The Ruby 2.5km - 14 years old minimum.

The Big Ruby 3.8km - 16 years old minimum.

The Ruby10 10km - 18 years old minimum.




Will there be food, drink and merchandise for sale at the Event?


Yup. Bring cash.




Can I park at the Event?


Yes, there will be adequate parking on an adjacent property (see Site Map). If driving, follow directions to the designated area. Parking has been generously provided by private land owners, so please be mindful of their property. Carpool if possible.

If you can, PLEASE walk or bike to the Event along the Millennium Track. It's only about 1.25km from that famous Wanaka Tree (see Map).




What are the biosecurity risks in Lake Wanaka?


What AREN’T the biosecurity risks? Didymo, lake snow, lagrosporium, duck itch, eel measles (ok, that one’s not real). Please make sure your wetsuit is clean and has been dry for 48hrs before the Event. There will be soaking bins for you to dunk your gear afterwards. CHECK, CLEAN, DRY! You should also make sure your wetsuit has been dry for 48hrs before using it in another body of water.