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Photo credit: Joseph Camilleri

Drone footage available, here, courtesy of Chazzy Droner>>

The second annual Victoria Sports News New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim saw an estimated 2000 beachgoers watch approximately 300 people dive into the cold waters of Esquimalt Lagoon on New Year’s Day at noon.

Proceeds from the event go to KidSport Greater Victoria – the suggested donation amount was $5.

Revellers would enjoy hot chocolate, prizes for first in, fully immersed as well as best costume.

A participant dressed a shark was adjudged to be the first in according to in-water photographers.

The best costume was awarded to someone dressed as a duck, in a hand-stitched costume.

Frontrunners Footwear, Victoria HarbourCats and Pacific Cellular donated the prizing, while Synergy Health Management helped off-set some of the costs of putting the event on.

Two years ago, Victoria was without an annual Polar Bear Swim and the Esquimalt Lagoon event in Colwood was started in 2018 to carry on the global tradition; however, there are smaller local events arranged ad-hoc throughout the capital region as well as one in Sidney at Tulista Park and in Sooke.

The day started with a pre-dive speech and a ceremonial first dive ala ceremonial first pitch in baseball.

Images and video will be available soon.