Starting the year with a Splash

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If you decided to start 2013 with a stroll down to Stonehaven Harbour you were in for a big surprise as fairies, skeletons, lifeguards and pirates could be found bobbing about in the Sea on January 1.

But don’t worry, you weren’t suffering the after-effects of too much partying the night before, you would have simply stumbled across the annual New Year’s Day Nippy Dip.

Around 70 brave volunteers took to the sea to raise money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

Now in its fifth year, this years event was bigger than ever with lots of brave volunteers taking to the sea supported by around a thousand people who were cheering them on. The dippers and crowd were lucky in the weather as the sun made its first appearance of 2013, but the sea was still cold.

Michael Hopkins, who helped organise the dip and is a veteran dipper himself, took to the sea first with friend Adam Bennett and made sure the other dippers were well and truly warmed up before they plunged into the icy depths. Dressed as David Hasselhoff andPamela Anderson from Naywatch the two were easy to spot as they led the advance into the cold January waves.

The money is still being counted but it is looking like the event raised around £20,000 for charity CLIC Sargent which supports young people ad their families with cancer.

Michael Hopkins said the event was “huge success” and that they are looking to have an even bigger event next year.

He said: “On the day we had great weather, everything was absolutely fantastic. People from as far as Dundee and Inverness travelled to the Town to take part.”

He said that the event would not have been possible without support from a number of people and businisses and he would like to thank the following for their help; Peter Logie from CLIC Sargent who helped with the organisation, the Stonehaven Lions Club esecially Andy Macarble who was MC on the day, Adam Bennett for helping lead the dippers, Michelle Ward and the Royal hotel for providing soup, Jane’s Design for their support, Tribe for providing the sound system, Dunnottar Wines for providing the whisky, the Granary for the use of their premises, Woodview embroidery, everyone who turned out and supported the Dippers and finally a big thank-you to everyone who braved the cold January sea.