Record numbers turn out for Christmas Day dip

Gazette: Record numbers turn out for Christmas Day dip Record numbers turn out for Christmas Day dip

HUNDREDS of people gathered for a dip at Clacton beach as part of the annual Christmas Day swim.

Crowds were at their biggest ever for this year's swim with hundreds more eagerly watching.

The tide was halfway out meaning swimmers had to dash to the waves, but despite a bitingly cold wind the water was generally agreed to be mild this year.

Mark Needham, 47, from Eastcliff Avenue, Clacton, said: "This is about my tenth year taking part, I do it every year.

"Once you're in it's fine, like anything you just have to get in and get over it."

Charlie Roche, from Branston Road, Clacton, was taking part for the first time.

Charlie, 19, said: "It was exhilarating.

"I was a bit late and saw everyone run in so had to dash over.

"I came to watch last year and it is a nice thing for everyone to do together on Christmas Day.

"I will definitely do it again."

Heidi Salmon, travelled from Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, to visit family and take part.

Heidi, 35, said: "It was quite nice and quite mild, though it's the first time I've done it.

"I've watched a few times and it looked like fun, but I might not do it again - I did enjoy it though."

Danny and Geraldine Gardner were dressed as Where's Wally as part of a group of eight aged 16-46 from Clacton Ladies' Circle raising money for Well Child.

Danny, 46, said: "We do it every year and this year it was freezing.

"We knew what was coning so we knew what to expect but it was still cold.

"The trick is not to be at the front when you get stuck in the water with hundreds of people coming in behind you."

Geraldine, 45, added: "We enjoyed it more this year.

"Footwear is key, having something to get across the stones."

FOR A PICTURE SPECIAL, SEE FRIDAY'S GAZETTE

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