Swim is a real record breaker
RECORD numbers of swimmers were watched by record numbers of crowds who donated a record sum to the RNLI during the Boxing Day swim.
RECORD numbers of swimmers were watched by record numbers of crowds who donated a record sum to the RNLI during the Boxing Day swim.More than 170 people took part in the cold water splash, with the majority in fancy dress.Regatta committee member Keith Knight, who ran the public address system while Oliver Salter kept order on the beach, said: "It was chock-a-block along the seafront. The weather was not too cold for spectators and, between Port Royal and the Bedford, there was hardly room to move. "They were not just locals, I had calls from people living in Taunton and Axminster about it."John Govier, chairman of the Sidmouth RNLI branch, was thrilled with this year's collection for the charity, which raised more than £2,000.He said: "It was the highest figure ever, and the crowd was amazing, with thousands there."Among them was Nigel Winchester who began the swim 28 years ago, with help from the Round Table."We asked swimmers to sign in and the register got to 168 and a few more came after that. Some just went in anyway," said Mr Knight. "I have no idea what makes them do it."Mulled wine was on hand for those taking part and four lads dressed as hoola ladies won wine prizes. Dennis the Menace came home second, although organisers point out it was not a contest, and Father Christmases were everywhere.St John Ambulance volunteers stood by and Sidmouth Lifeboat crew gave safety cover in the water, but the event went off without a hitch.