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2024 Orangetheory NZ Open Water Swimming Championships

Kia ora swimmers,

It’s almost time for you all to get your goggles and caps ready to take on the 2024 Orangetheory NZ Open Water Swimming Championships in Lake Taupo!


With the event right around the corner please find some important information which will help make your experience a great one.

Please read this update carefully to make sure you are prepared for this weekend.

13 January

Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Good Behaviour

We are committed to providing positive swimming experiences for everyone in the sport. Everyone has their role to play in this, so please be aware of our Code of Conduct.

Click here to view

Event Registration

There will not be race packs for NZ Open Water Champs swimmers available on the day before.

Arrival on race day

Registration and check-in pack collection for all races will be lake front at the SNZ officials tent at the registration times listed above.


Participants will need to check-in with an official and be assessed to confirm readiness for racing - please see more information below.

Race Packs

Race packs are received upon check-in and include a timing chip and swim cap.

Timing Chips

Please ensure you wear your timing chip securely around the wrist. Once you complete your swim and exit the water, we ask that you work with our team to remove your timing chip and leave this within the exit area. Given that timing chips are expensive, please note that a $50 fee will be incurred if you lose your timing chip.

Swim Caps

In your race pack you’ll find your numbered Swim Cap with your respective competitor number. This cap must be worn during the race.


Every swimmer will also receive an accreditation that needs to be presented when marshalling and collected upon exiting the water. We utilise this system for your health and safety.


World Aquatics & Swimming NZ rules allow the use of wetsuits in Open Water competitions in the following conditions. When the water temperature reading on the day of the competition is:

  • 17.9°C and below, wetsuits are mandatory, and an approved wetsuit must be worn

  • 18.0°C and above, wetsuits are not allowed, and all swimmers must wear an approved swimsuit


For the purpose of these rules, wetsuits are swimsuits made of material providing thermal insulation. Wetsuits for both men and women shall completely cover torso, back, shoulders and knees. They shall not extend beyond the neck, wrists and ankles. Please refer to the Inclusive Swimwear Policy on the SNZ website for more details.

Please note we are expecting the water temperature to be in the non-wetsuit range, as the current water temperature reading is around 19.5°C but we won't know until Saturday morning for final confirmation.

Course Map

The race course is a 2.5km rectangular set-up that runs parallel to the beach. Swimmers will swim in a clockwise direction around the course, with swimmers passing the turn buoys on their left shoulder. An in-water start and finish will be implemented, so please swim through the finish gantry and hit the timing mat with your wrist to complete the race.

  • 10km = 4 laps

  • 7.5km = 3 laps

  • 5km = 2 laps

  • 2.5km = 1 lap

Finish Line

All races will finish through the finish gantry in the water. You must touch the finish gantry with your hand that has your chip tag on. After you're done, please slowly make your way out of the water allowing your legs to adjust to being vertical. Please do not congregate at the finish line. 


Be sure to check out and sample all the delicious vendors that will be onsite to assist with your recovery.    

Briefing Information

All competitors are required to attend the race briefing which commences 15mins prior to the race start. This briefing occurs in front of the officials tent on the grass/beach.

Race Schedule
  • 5am - 6:10am Registration Open (10km & 7.5km) 

  • 6:15am Briefing (10km & 7.5km)

  • 6:30am Race Start (10km & 7.5km)

  • 9am - 10:10am Registration Open (5km)

  • 10:15am Briefing (5km)

  • 10:30am Race Start (5km)

  • 11am - 12:10pm Registration Open (2.5km)

  • 12:15pm Briefing (2.5km)

  • 12:30pm Race Start (2.5km)


  • 12.30pm - 1:40pm Registration Open (Relay)

  • 2:15pm Briefing (Relay)

  • 2.30pm Race Start (Relay)

  • 3.30pm Victory Ceremony (All Events) - this will commence after the final race is completed


A designated feeding area will be provided for the feeding of swimmers during the 7.5km and 10km events. This area will be the only place on the course where a swimmer may be fed. Please note feeding does not occur for the 2.5km and 5km events.

  • Each swimmer is allowed one (1) handler, who will be required to check in with the swimmer at the time of registration. Once registered, the handler will be given an event specific wrist band. Failure to display this wrist band will result in the handler being denied access to the feeding area.

  • Feeders will feed by wading into the water from the beach at the specified area.

  • The competitors shall receive their feeding directly from their representative by a feeding pole or by hand. As Part Three, Article 5.16 of the WA OWS Regulations, feeding poles are not to exceed 5m in length when extended. No objects, rope or wire may hang off the end of the feeding pole. The feeding pole must be available for inspection when the swimmer is attending registration.

  • All entrants are responsible for organising their own handlers.

Accreds & Lanyards

We will be providing accreditations to each swimmer to assist us with monitoring who is still in the water competing for health and safety reasons. Each swimmer will need to report to marshalling with their accreditation and collect as they exit the water at the end of their race.

SNZ won't be supplying lanyards, so we ask swimmers to please bring their own lanyard with them for the weekend.

Vendors & Own Supplies

There will be some great local vendors to help you refuel after your swim. Please check them out lake side.

We also encourage you to bring snacks and fluids to help you prepare for the day.

Team Managers Meeting

There will be a team manager’s meeting held on Friday 12 January at 5.30pm, at the Officials/Registration Tent in the event area at the lake.

Team Managers will be given a brief run-down of meet activities, expectations of swimmers and clubs and general delivery of the event. Each club must have at least one representative at the meeting to ensure all information is delivered back to the swimmers.

Please note that race numbers, timing chips and feeder bands will be given out at the registration prior to each race.

Race Starts

Where a split start is deemed necessary, the first wave in each event wil be the males in the Orangetheory NZ Open Water Championships, followed by the females shortly after.

Psych Sheets

The psych sheets are now available on our event webpage. These are accurate as Tuesday 9 January.

Psych Sheets - By Event

Psych Sheets - By Club

If there are any withdrawals and changes needed, please contact as soon as possible.

Race Readiness

Before registration with the technical officials at the beach, all swimmers are advised to:

  • Ensure that all jewellery items have been completed removed

  • Ensure that al acrylic nails have been completely removed

  • Ensure that their finger nails and toe nails have been trimmed so that they do not extend passed the tip of their finger/toe

  • Ensure that they present themselves to registration either in or with their race suits

  • Leave both shoulders and arms free of grease or sunscreen, as their competitor number will be marked on these areas. Please note that care should be taken when applying grease to ensure the number remains legible

  • Feeders and the feeding pole must report to registration with the swimmer for the 10km/7.5km race

Pre-Meet Training

We endeavour to have the course set up so swimmers can have a pre-meet swim on the race course on Friday afternoon.

Please note that there won't be water safety crews monitoring the water on Friday afternoon, so we encourage clubs to observe their swimmers and swimmers to swim with a buddy or in groups for your safety.


Medals shall be awarded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd New Zealanders in all NZOW championship events and age groups.


Victory ceremonies will take place around 3pm at the conclusion of the racing in the water.

Please note that participation in the NZOW champs also means you qualify in the Banana Boat NZ Ocean Swim Series results, so please stick around for the whole victory ceremony. There are spot prizes as well.

Results will be available on the event webpage and social media on the day.

Merch & Swimwear

There isn't any merchandise available this year and our partner Teamline won't be located on site this year. However, you can access their swimwear range online:

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