Hardy swimmers set to take plunge in Sidmouth on Boxing Day

Sidmouth Boxing Day swimmers head into the waves in 2013

Sidmouth Boxing Day swimmers head into the waves in 2013 - Credit: Archant

High hopes for annual tradition after last year’s cancellation

Hordes of hardy swimmers are preparing to take the plunge off Sidmouth beach on Boxing Day.

The tradition, a festive favourite in the town for more than 30 years, had to be cancelled last year due to health and safety concerns caused by bad weather.

Sidmouth Regatta committee, which organises the Boxing Day Swim in conjunction with the town’s RNLI branch, has expressed hope it will be full steam ahead for this year.

It has, however, issued a strong warning for swimmers to take heed if it is forced to pull the plug - and said any who disregard the decision could put themselves in danger.

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One of the organisers, Oliver Salter, said: “We have big hopes for this year. Should the event go ahead, we are hoping for a sunny day, but we know a few foolish souls will not be put off, even if the weather is still as cold as it has been recently. We really want people to respect the decision if it does have to be cancelled. It is dangerous for anyone to go in if it is. It is for this reason that all entrants are asked to sign a disclaimer to absolve the organising committee of responsibility should they decide conditions are not suitable.”

All entrants are asked to sign in and gather in front of Sidmouth Sailing Club from 10.30am on Monday, December 26, and there will be a prize for the best fancy dress.

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The swim is scheduled to start at approximately 11am.

Sidmouth’s independent lifeboat and Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club will provide ‘on the water’ cover for the duration of the swim.

Sidmouth’s RNLI branch – which covers insurance for the annual event - will be on hand to collect donations.

Tea and coffee will be available in the sailing club before and after the swim.

The event is always weather-permitting and the final decision on whether or not to go ahead will be announced on the day.

Updates at www.sidmouthherald.co.uk

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