A long running crazy Christmas Day event in Weymouth, Dorset has now been an annual tradition for 70 years.
It started in 1948 with a bet between a taxi driver and pub landlord to a swimming race across the harbour.
Currently the event is organised by Weymouth and Portland Lions Club the maximum numbers allowed to swim is 500 and they swim in batches of 50 at a time.
The water temperature in this race Dec 2018 it was 10 degrees which is considered warm!
There is a huge variety of entrants often travelling miles to take part in this challenge.
Swimmers have come from the USA, Australia and many from Europe over the years too!
Fancy dress is certainly the dress for the day. Santa suits and hats of course, followed sometimes with a current news theme although no Donald Trump costumes made it.
A maritime and fish themes are very popular with several sharks, lobsters and a flotilla of pink flamingoes all made it safely across the harbour to the temporary moored landing beach.
The volunteers of the local Lions Club have for a number of years taken on the mantle to run the event. All money raised goes to support local organisations or people in and around the town.
Although the distance is not huge the sudden cold water exposure can take swimmers by surprise so the local canoe lifeguards support the event to provide quick rescue if required or just shepherd slower swimmers should the shock catch them out of breath.
Around the harbour thousands of people come out just to watch the spectacle or support their friends or relatives whom have been crazy enough to enter in one of the many classes.
Children aged from 7 up can enter and the oldest grown-ups have been in their 80’s
Their clothes are ferried over in plastic sacks by two support boats and so when the swimmers reach the other side they can get changed again without the long walk back around the harbour.