A record 483 swimmers braved the elements for this year’s swim netting over £3,500 for the Weymouth & Portland Lions Club charity fund. Last year over £20,000 was raised for national and local charities and this year the club is hoping to beat that.The District Governor, Lion Peter Burnett and his wife Debbie were on hand this year to witness proceedings and very kindly ‘got stuck in’ handing out medals to each swimmer.
District Governor hands out medals with ‘Snowman’, Lion President Roger Hogbin supervising!
The Lions are extremely grateful for the 500 medals kindly donated by Precision Engraving of Park Street, Weymouth. www.precisionengravingweymouth.co.uk .
The proudly wears his medal!
There is always a wonderful atmosphere of fun and goodwill at this event with whole families swimming together raising funds for their favourite charity. A variety of costumes and fancy dress were on display in addition to the usual Santa outfits were, tutus. Penguins, puddings, elves and mankinis to name but a few. Hundreds of photographs have been posted to social media and the event has been covered by local media. The BBC and ITV have also posted pictures to their websites and the event has also caught the attention of the national press.
The first swim in Weymouth Harbour took place in 1948 as a bet between a publican, Dill Laker, and a taxi driver, Reggie Bugler, and has taken place every year since. The Weymouth & Portland Lions took over the swim in the early 70’s and it has grown considerably since then. The son of the original swimmer, Don Laker, pictured below, came down to start the first race with his family, four of whom were swimming. This year the organisation of the event was brought right up to date with the sale of tickets online, two days before the swim 360 had been sold which made the registration process on Christmas Day much easier.
Don Laker and family with Lions John Cake (L) and Norman Apps (R)