Brave swimmers take the New Year's plunge in Lyme Regis
Dorset and Devon towns followed Somerset by hosting New Year’s Day swims.
Hardy swimmers took to the water at Lyme Regis, while at Wembury, near Plymouth, organiser Terry Clarke hailed the clear blue sky for helping raise the number of swimmers to 200 and the number of spectators to a ninth-year high.
Mr Clarke, aged 78, said: “It was our best year yet. The weather always makes it. There were hundreds of spectators all along the footpath at Wembury and they packed the beach. We easily had at least 200 swimmers. It was really first class and a wonderful spirit.”
The event was laid on to raise money for the Shekinah Mission in Plymouth. While some swimmers went for the faithful shorts and bikinis, some fundraisers went to the water in fancy dress.
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Mr Clarke – who always wears his straw boater and Victorian bathing suit – said: “We had one guy dress in a full old-style diving outfit. Another wore a proper-looking naval outfit with cap and uniform, while another man wore a tutu. Lots of people wore Father Christmas hats. The spirit shown is always tremendous.”
Across the Tamar, just over 100 people took the plunge in the annual New Year’s Day dip at Cawsand. Swimmers dressed as everything from Batman and Robin to a Mexican guitar band.