Brave swimmers take New Year's Day plunge to welcome 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

Hardy swimmers continued North Devon’s New Year’s Day dip tradition on January 1 – suitably socially distanced of course. 

The informal events at Westward Ho! and Woolacombe were not organised but nonetheless many chose to brave the freezing surf, most carrying on the proud tradition of wearing swimming costumes and not wetsuits. 

Swimmers at Woolacombe on New Yaer's Day 2021, seen from a distance

Swimmers gathering for an informal New Year's Day dip at Woolacombe beach - Credit: Contributed

People kept to their own bubbles and adhered to social distancing, by all reports. 

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

Don Duffield of Woolacombe Surf Live Saving Club said they had decided not to organise their customary New Year’s Day Dip – No Wetsuits event, although it would have been the 21st anniversary. 

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

But he said: “However since it had become part of many peoples start to the new year, I had suggested that, since I would be continuing with the tradition personally, it would be nice if any others happened to be on the beach and suitably socially distanced a dip might be feasible. 

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

“I was amazed at the turnout which far exceeded numbers any other year, with probably in excess of 200 taking to the water, spread along the beach as far as Mill Rock, rather than the usual compact area in front of the site for the lifeguards hut.” 

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021

Swimmers enjoy a bracing dip at Westward Ho! on New Year's Day 2021 - Credit: Simon Ellery


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