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200 expected to brave cold for festive swim at Hunstanton

The 2012 Hunstanton Round Table Christmas Day Swim.

The 2012 Hunstanton Round Table Christmas Day Swim.

Nearly 200 brave souls will be leaving the warmth of their firesides on Christmas morning to take a dip in the sea to raise money for local good causes.

Hunstanton Round Table is hoping to see thousands of people on the town’s promenade to cheer on the Christmas Day swimmers.

For the last 50 years, the swim has become a firm fixture in many West Norfolk family’s Christmas Day routines.

Every year, people don bright costumes – and even bikinis – to stride out and submerge themselves in the cold water.

Christmas swim officer Michael Jackson is encouraging people to come along and support the event, which last year raised £5,000 for good causes.

He said: “It is a Hunstanton tradition and the majority of people in the town have been in the Christmas Day swim.

“I love it and it has a really fun atmosphere. People open their presents and then come out for a couple of hours in the air.

“The promenade is usually packed with 3,000 to 4,000 people.”

Last year, swimmers ran out wearing sumo suits, full Father Christmas costumes and even a man in a Baywatch babe swim suit.

Participants have to run up to a flag and then go under the water before heading back to shore for soup and a warm drink.

Prizes of £25 and £100 are handed to the best dressed individual and group.

Mr Jackson said: “This year’s tides are going to be better for the swimmers. The tide is in at 11.10am so they will probably be only in there for a few minutes. In previous years, they’ve had to do a quarter of a mile round trip.”

Scotty’s Little Soldiers, Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital along with scout troops and a youngster with autism have received donations as a result of the Christmas Day fundraising.

Mr Jackson said: “This year we want to raise more than £5,000 for charity and we like to give to local causes.”

Swimmers must register at the Oasis Leisure centre at 10.30am on the day before being asked to parade to the sea at 11am.

Registration and sponsorship forms are available on the round table’s website, www.hunstantonroundtable.com/xmas-swim.html

 

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