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Last Updated: Monday, 1 January 2007, 15:07 GMT
New Year Day's swimmers brave sea
Swimmers at Saundersfoot greet the new year by getting wet
Swimmers at Saundersfoot greet the new year by getting wet
About 700 swimmers and thousands of spectators welcome in 2007 by attending the annual Saundersfoot New Year's Day swim in Pembrokeshire.

The event is in its 23rd year and has already raised 175,000 for charity.

The swim was begun to rival a similar event at nearby Tenby and elsewhere in Wales on Boxing Day.

Four villagers have never missed the swim since 1984 - among them Chris Williams, son of the chair of the organising committee, Martyn Williams.

Mr Williams said: "There have been a few swims around. Tenby have a swim.

"They have their Boxing Day and we thought the village needed something on New Year's Day - it was a dead day in the village, nothing happened.

Swimmers in fancy dress before the Saundersfoot swim
Fancy dress was order of the day for the Saundersfoot swimmers

"Then we though we'd try it and it's grown in momentum."

He said the event last year raised 25,000 and they hoped to achieve the same figure in 2007.

The highlight of the 2007 event was a re-enactment of this autumn's All Blacks haka on the Saundersfoot sands before the swimmers rushed to the shore to brave the icy sea.

"It is cold - we've been there when there's been ice on the beach and the temperature of the water is absolutely freezing," said Mr Williams.

Sleepless night

"When you've got hundreds of people in for a swim, it's the adrenaline - you don't even think about it.

"The first time I went into the water I had a sleepless night, but now you just troll down there and go in and then back to the local pubs and hotels for a meal.

"We all get under - perhaps a few strokes, but everyone must go under."

Chris Williams, Mick Hamilton, John Joseph are Gethin Evans are the four people who have never missed the Saundersfoot swim to date.

Boxing Day swimmers brave weather
26 Dec 06 |  South East Wales
Boxing Day swimmers take plunge
26 Dec 05 |  South West Wales

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