It’s coming again. Yes, Christmas, New Year, all that sort of stuff. But so is Tenby’s Annual Charity Boxing Day Swim.
At 9.45am on 26th December, you’d think nothing was going to happen and, at 2pm, you’d think nothing had. In what amounts to a blink, a grand spectacle involves thousands of spectators and hundreds (last year 700+) of mad swimmers. Many in fancy dress, they descend to fill up the North Beach or the spaces with a view on the cliffs around and above and, just as quickly, depart, having said their hellos to family, friends and anyone else brimming over with the spirit of bonhomie this event seems to culture and pollinate.
The fancy dress theme this year is “Climate Change” and in due deference the medals awarded to each swimmer have been crafted out of wood – thanks to Wheelers of Yerbeston.
From the Tenby & Saundersfoot Lions Club, there will be free soup for the recovering swimmers, whose flanks can be warmed at the bonfire curated by the RAF Air Cadets.
On and next to the water are the hawk-eyed Tenby Surflinkers, ensuring everyone who goes in also comes out in the mad rush called “GO”. Also on the water, the ever reliable Pembroke Paddlers, kayakers there to host a race amongst their juniors and to provide more safety cover.
There may be a raft race, you never know until the rafts turn up, normally at the last minute; named after the tragic loss of one of our prominent young men a few years ago, the Daitanic Raft Race nearly always offers a stirring tribute to both Dai and the rafters, battling amongst themselves to win but battling mostly the power of the sea just for their craft to stay afloat.
Lurking amongst the action you’ll find HM Coastguard officers, St John’s Ambulance team and the Tenby RNLI lifeboat crew, all present and attentive unless there’s a ‘shout’ and one or more of them are summoned to attend an incident elsewhere.
And to pick up the costs of running this event, step forward our generous sponsor: Harbour Wealth.
Such coordinated collaboration behind the apparent chaos at the seaside, all helping to increase the contributions to worthy causes above the 300k raised over the event’s 49 year history, all on Boxing Day.
See you on the beach? It all kicks off at 11am.