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2023 Orangetheory EPIC Open Water Swim

Kia ora Epic Swimmers,

It’s almost time for you all to get your goggles and caps ready to take on the 2023 Orangetheory Epic Swim 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.

14 - 15 January

Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Events Manager
Chloe Francis
Head of Participation & Events
Dale Johnson
Disability and Para Swimming Participation Manager
Cameron Leslie
Membership Services Manager
Amber Piggott

Participation Coordinator

Hannah Cartman

Events Support Coordinator

Tonya Osborne

Participation Team

The friendly faces on the other side of most of your emails. We're fortunate to have a passionate crew who deliver world class events, facilitate equal opportunities for anyone to enjoy the water and make sure that every member has a great experience. 

Event Registration

Pre-race day registration and check-in pack collection will be held on Friday 13 January from 3-6pm at the Great Lakes Centre in the Rimu Room, 5 Story Place, Taupo.  

Arrival on race day

Registration and check-in pack collection for all races will be lake front at the registration tent between 7am-12:30pm on Saturday 14 and between 7am-11am on Sunday 15.


Participants will need to check-in and collect their race packs. This is also your chance to update or add any medical information.

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 Epic Swim Cap which would be worn during the race. Please ensure you wear your Epic Swim cap to assist our Water Safety team in looking out for your health and safety during the event.

Medical Info

Open Water swimming is completely different to swimming in pool. Please ensure that you train correctly for the event and if planning on wearing a wetsuit you wear this during your training. If you are unsure if you should be swimming or have any medical concerns Swimming New Zealand recommend that you are checked by a medical practitioner before competing. Your medical information can be updated at anytime through your Eventplus login.

St Johns Ambulance

St Johns will be present at our event, if you at any point before or after the race feel unwell, please make sure you make yourself known to the crew.

Wetsuits & DOC

Please note we are expecting the water temperature to be within the optional wetsuit range however, for those that are brave enough your normal swimwear will be sufficient.


Our partner Teamline will be located on site with wetsuits available for hire if you are interested on the day.


Freshwater pests can be spread by your activities in and around waterways. If you’ve been in a lake, river, stream or wetland and plan to move to another within 48 hours, you must clean all your gear that has been wet using the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ method.

All participants wishing to wear a wetsuit at this year’s event must abide by the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai requirements for CCD.


In October 2021, the requirements changed around the recommendations on how to clean your wetsuit, the revised advice is now 10 for 10:

  • Use a mix of 10% dishwashing detergent with water

  • Leave the item wet for 10 minutes

If you still are unsure, please refer to the CCD webpage here.

Briefing Information

Everybody will be briefed together by the head of Water Safety Philip Rush. It is compulsory to be at this briefing. Please see schedule for timings.


All swimmers must be inside the fenced area for the briefing. In doing so you will walk across the timing mat which will register you as being part of the race.


Timing Chips for all Epic Swim events, excluding the Team Relay, should be worn around the ankle. Team Relay timing chips will be born around the wrist.


The timing chip for all Epic Swim events will register as finished once you pass through the blow-up finish line on the beach, where the finish timing mat is located.


Pre refer to the event website for all race rules.

Saturday Schedule
  • 07:55am Briefing for Epic 10km

  • 08:15am Race start - Epic 10km (Cut off 4 hours*)

  • 9:45am Briefing for Mini Epic 100m

  • 10:00am Race start for Mini Epic 100m

  • 10:15am Briefing for Minor Epic 500m

  • 10:30am Race start for Minor Epic 500m (Cut off 30 mins*)

  • 11:15am Victory Ceremonies 10km Epic, Minor Epic & Mini Epic

  • 11:55am Briefing for Epic 2.5km

  • 12:10pm Race start for Epic 2.5km (Cut off 1.5 hours*)

  • 1:30pm Briefing for Epic 4 x 500m Relay

  • 1:45pm Racing start for Epic 4 x 500m Relay

  • 2:15pm Victory Ceremonies 2.5km & 4 x 500m Relay

Event Area

The race course is a 1.25km rectangular set-up that runs parallel to the beach. Swimmers will swim in an 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 = 8 laps

  • 7.5km = 6 laps

  • 5km = 4 laps

  • 2.5km = 2 laps

Finish Line

It will be an in-water finish this year. 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. Once out of the water be sure to get your Epic Swim participation medal and return your timing chip to the SNZ staff.

Be sure to check out and sample all the delicious vendors that will be onsite. There will be a water fountain and food trucks located on site.                  


Feeders can be organised for the swimmers in the 10km Epic Swim. There will be a designated area for all feeders on the beach.

All feeders please attend athlete briefing at 7:55am on Saturday 14 where you will be given clear instructions on how to feed properly. This will be held between the officials tent and Teamline tent. If you do not have a feeder, we will be asking for volunteers at the event to help you. Due to on shore feeding swimmers can feed independently also.

It is your own responsibility to provide food and drinks for your swimmers.


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

Victory ceremonies times are shown on the schedule.

Merch & Swimwear

Our partner Teamline will be located on site.  Please make sure you head down and say kia ora during the event. Pre orders are still available for purchase

Orangetheory & Event Partners

On Friday 11 November at 3:50 pm every club will line up around the poolside and take part in a brand-new opening ceremony Mexican wave. Each Junior festival zone will have a competition to who can create the loudest and most fun Mexican wave as well as trying to achieve to the golden 60 seconds without a break.

Sunday Schedule
  • 8:25am Briefing for Epic 5km

  • 8:40am Race start - Epic 5km (Cut off 2 hours*)

  • 10:30am Briefing for Epic 1km

  • 10:45am Race start - Epic 1km (Cut off 30 mins*)

  • 11:30am Briefing for 4 x 1km Relay

  • 11:45am Race Start for 4 x 1km Relay

  • 12:45pm Victory Ceremonies for 5km, 1km, 4x1km Relay and Epic Epic winners

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