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Ruby Rules


Safety Guidelines


• Online entry closes at 4.00pm Thursday 25th January 2024. The organisers reserve the right to close entries prior at their discretion, if this occurs a waiting list will operate.

• The organisers reserve the right to alter the advertised start time if conditions warrant beyond the control of event management. The Event Director and Water Safety Co-ordinator will determine on the event morning (cut-off 2 hours from designated start time) if the event will go ahead due to weather conditions in the interests of your safety.  For adverse decisions made on the day check the website home page & Facebook page & Instagram as well as your own email inbox for the latest information should you suspect the weather may be inclement.

• See minimum age restrictions (right hand column at bottom) for specific swim lengths. If below the minimum age you must have consent by a parent or guardian or swim coach. See here too.

• All races (except the Little Gems) start on the left side of the rocky promontory at Waterfall Creek. All races finish on the right hand side of the rocks under the finish gantry on the red carpet.


You must wear on your ankle the timing chip issued to you in your race pack. Failure to do so will result in no time being recorded and exclusion from prize positions. You will have your race number written on your hand at Rego to aid with identification at the start chute and the finish chute.


• All swimmers must be present at safety briefings.


• Your inability to swim your race course correctly will result in a DQ. Sorry. Dem’s da rules!


• Swimmers must wear the colour cap provided which corresponds to the race colour as per the website. Please wear the race cap on the outside of any other caps being worn. It shouldn’t be that cold!


• No swimmer is permitted to use or wear any device which may aid their speed, or buoyancy (with the exception of a wetsuit). All swimmers may use goggles, nose clip and earplugs as required.

• The No Wetsuit category means a standard male or female swim costume. Jammers for men are acceptable.

No rash vests or swim skins.


• Hand paddles or fins are not permitted. C’mon!


• The Water Safety Co-ordinator, Event Medical Director, Event Director, Event Managers and waterborne Life Savers have ultimate authority to pull a competitor from a 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.


• Purposely obstructing or impeding the progress of other swimmers in the field is prohibited. Doing so will result in disqualification. Please swim with regard and mindfulness to fellow swimmers. Good sportsmanship is expected at all times.  The determination of whether an act is deemed unsportsmanlike is at the sole discretion of the Event Director.


• The organisers reserve the right to cancel the event due to "act of god”, weather conditions, or any such matter that the event cannot safely take place, or in circumstances deemed beyond the organisers control.

Should the event be cancelled by the organisers by midnight December 18th 2023 you will receive a refund of 50% of the entry fee should you wish. Should the event be cancelled after midnight December 18th 2023 entry fees are strictly non-refundable. Should the event, once started, be stopped for any reason, or personal circumstances arise that prevent you from participating in (or completing the event), your entry fee is non-refundable.

• Competitors wishing to withdraw, for what ever reason, prior to event day must advise us in writing (email is good). Competitors withdrawing prior to midnight on the 31st December 2023 will receive a 50% refund. Competitors withdrawing from the 1st January 2024 and prior to midnight on the 14th January 2024 will receive a 25% refund. No refunds will be given after January 14th 2024. If weather conditions force the cancellation of the event, no refund will be provided. Entries cannot be transferred to another person.

• In the case of a NZ Government advised situation such that the event cannot go ahead - if advised by 18th December 2023 a refund of 50% of the entry fee will be provided. If advised after the 18th December 2023 no refunds will be given, nor are we able to carry your entry forward to the following year.

• Entering the event authorises the use of your name, voice and picture and any information provided by you to be used without payment in any broadcast, communication, promotion, or advertising, and you agree that the information provided may be used by Ruby Events Ltd for the purpose of promoting future or other events.

• You consent to receive any medical treatment that may be deemed necessary in the event of any injury, accident or illness during this event.

• Participation in The Ruby events is at the discretion of the Event Director who reserves the right to reject or withdraw any swimmer. The Event Director’s decision is final. No, really!


• Any protests regarding decisions made by the Event Director or Event Manager must be made in person and received by the Event Director or Event Manager within 30mins of finishing the event. See Registration tent for queries.

• By reading and agreeing to these rules for - The Ruby Swim, you understand that this activity carries a degree of risk and is potentially dangerous. You are participating in this activity entirely and knowingly at your own risk. Consequently you accept and are aware of the hazards involved which include, but are not limited to, weather conditions, actions of competitors, officials, spectators and members of the public.

• Swimmers are responsible for their own physical condition, are 'swim fit' and are urged to train appropriately for this event (be able to swim the full distance and have lake swimming experience). Please 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 are ultimately unable to absolutely guarantee a swimmers safety.

• Swimmers with lower confidence should not over-commit to a distance they are not comfortable with. We have sufficient distances available to build confidence in a race environment. Better to use this event to build for your next event. The use of a swim tow buoy for an added level of personal security is perfectly acceptable.

• All swimmers should be vigilant when swimming around buoys and passing other swimmers. It can be a tight squeeze at times. Allow space.

• We will have more than sufficient waterborne helpers in both kayaks and powered craft, all the way along each swim course for swimmer assurance.

• Medical staff will be on-site with sufficient staff and resources.


• If assistance is required during the swim, swimmers should raise one arm so water safety personnel can assist. If you can’t do this, the swimmer should roll onto their back to float in a relaxed position and try to alert support crew.

• In the event of a withdrawal, please alert an event official. Your timing chip needs to be returned to indicate the withdrawal to our admin staff and so we can account for all entrants.

• Swimmers are recommended to wear a wetsuit for assistance with buoyancy and warmth. And that gliding dolphin-like feeling. But a wetsuit is not compulsory.

• All swimmers should think about post-race hydration – we recommend you bring some fluids to hydrate with after your swim : )

Wetsuits – Wetsuits are not compulsory but we recommend a wetsuit is worn. Due to the temperature of the lake, which is usually about 17C in mid January, it is highly advisable, especially for the longer swims.  Please be aware the lake temperature can be as low as 14C or as high as 20C on event date. The lake normally warms to between 12-15C before Christmas. As summer progresses it gets warmer and could be around 15-18 degrees by mid-January. If there has been a longish spell of warm weather it can feel even warmer on the top layer.

Age Restrictions
The approved age brackets for each swim discipline is as follows: Little Gems 200m is 6 – 11 years old.

The Jetty 600m the minimum age is 12 years old.

In The Return Of The Jetty 1.2km the minimum age is 14 years old.

The Ruby 2.5km the minimum age is 14 years old.

The Big Ruby 3.8km, The Ruby10 10km, and Ruby5 5km the minimum age is 16 years old.

For swimmers under these minimum ages that have consent from a legal guardian to enter, you must seek pre-approval from Ruby Admin with reasons why they can swim in the race or with a swim coach recommendation. Thanks.

We always respond personally and take each request on a case by case basis. And please be aware we do sometimes say no.

Please take away all your rubbish! Thanks.

Parking - There will be road and traffic management personnel at the junction of Mount Aspiring Road and Ruby Island Road. Speed limits will be reduced in this area. They can direct you to the designated parking in the field alongside Ruby Island Road. Normal road rules apply throughout.


Every year we have a 'problem' with dogs, either cocking a leg over other people's equipment, including wetsuits, or pooping somewhere on the beach and then someone standing or even sitting in it! Can you please leave your dog at home. We hear the same excuse each year - "Oh my dog would never do that". But actually it does. Thank you for respecting this.

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