Update: Friday, Dec. 28 1:30 pm: Swim will take place at the south end of the lagoon near public washrooms.

© Copyright – 2017 – Victoria Sports News

Updated: Friday, December 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Victoria Sports News in conjunction with Synergy Health Centre is putting on the first annual Victoria Sports News Polar Bear Swim® on January 1st at 12:00 pm – noon. The swim will take place at Esquimalt Lagoon in Colwood.

Swimmers are asked to bring a donation to support KidSport Greater Victoria as well as Runners of Compassion.

The global New Year’s tradition is a popular way to symbolically wash away the previous year and to celebrate the ringing in of the first day of the new year.

First base coach of the Victoria HarbourCats Troy “Honky Tonk” Birtwistle will do the Ceremonial First Dive at 11:55 am, while the community swim will go at 12:00 pm, sharp.

Greater Victoria has been without a Polar Bear Swim for several years. There was a tradition of dipping into Elk Lake, however, the CRD stopped the event due to winter algae bloom. Thetis Lake was also off-limits for the same reason.

For the 2016 edition, which was an impromptu dip at Dallas Rd, hundreds of Victoria area residents took the plunge on short notice.

“Esquimalt Lagoon is a better venue because there is a lot of parking and the beach is more barefoot-friendly than most beaches in Greater Victoria,” said VSN editor Louise Hodgson-Jones.

A prize will be awarded to the first person to dive in and be fully immersed, kindly donated by Victoria HarbourCats baseball team. A judge will determine who the winner is. In the likely event of a tie, a dive off tie-breaker will take place until a winner is declared.

Additional draw prizes are donated by Frontrunners Victoria.


2016 Polar Bear Swim video: