Every year thousands of people line the harbour at Weymouth to witness this annual Lions event which has become a landmark event for the town.
For those brave enough to suffer a Christmas morning dip, the 70-metre-plus distance starts from the Cove on Trinity Road and finishes across the water opposite the Harbour Master’s office on Custom House Quay. Swimmers are split into up to 10 groups of 50, with some swimmers racing across the distance in just a few minutes. Safety is a major consideration, and swimmers are required to purchase a ticket and are counted into the water at the start and counted out at the opposite end. Sea canoeists from the RNLI are on the water and are able to assist swimmers who get into difficulty. Help is also on hand from MV Freedom, a local charity that enables disabled people to enjoy boat trips around the outer harbour and Portland. On Christmas Day it helps the Lions by providing a ferry service across the harbour.
It’s estimated that spectator numbers were well over 1,500 in 2021 supporting a total of 360 determined swimmers. The whole event lasts for just over an hour and many of those who take part then go on to enjoy a well-earned pint with perhaps a turkey lunch in a local public house.
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Tickets will be available from 1st December 2022 at
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Weymouth & Portland Lions Club
c/o 5 Sussex Road,