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Some like it ‘freezing’

The agony and ecstasy of the Polar Bear Dash is clear to see. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

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Dave Watt ready for his winter dash. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

A 67-year-old male ‘polar bear’ said he was “extremely stupid” to be having a mid-winter swim at Riversdale Beach on Sunday.

And a passer-by said she wasn’t doing the Polar Bear dash because “she is not stupid”.

“I am doing it because I am stupid and I am stupid every year, but I think my fur coat [his hairy chest] will keep me warm,” Dave Watt said.

One motivation in completing the winter solstice swim, he said, was so he could brag about it around town later.

“I can’t make fun of the people that didn’t go in if I don’t, can I?”

Advice given by organiser, surf club captain Michael Taylor, was to help yourself to sunscreen and please don’t get run over by the latecomers.

It was overcast and raining with a nasty southerly biting in from the beach as the 22 swimmers headed to the water. The sea itself was 10 degrees Celsius and choppy.

Taylor said the weather was “perfectly horrible” as you would expect in winter. The annual swim event is not always on the shortest day but this year it was.

The swimmers were led in by 14-year-old Merissa Lamontagne, who was also the last out [pictured smiling in photo above]. She said, “It was fine when I got in, not cold at all.”

But most people said the water was freezing as they scrambled to grab clothes and head to the shower before enjoying a warming cup of Milo in the clubrooms.

After the polar bear swim Watt reported the water to be “freezing” and confirmed that he was very “stupid to do it”.

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