Portishead Popsicle Cold Water Gala – 16 December 2017

On Saturday 16 December, more than 150 swimmers from all over the country, including West Wales and Birmingham and as far away as Newcastle on Tyne, descended on our Pool to compete in the second Popsicle cold water gala held at the lido since it has been run by the community.  With a 2C air temperature and the water at 4.5C it qualified as an Ice Swim based on the standards of the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA), but that added to the challenge for the intrepid swimmers who took part in 100m, 300m and 1000m distances plus a 4 person relay and a 33.3m butterfly event, with separate categories for wetsuits and swimsuits.  Adding to the fun, swimmers dressed up for the occasion, with a prize for the most outlandish headgear.  The winners were awarded edible Santa medals baked and decorated by local cake shop Heaven on the Hill, and chocolate oranges with specially knitted Christmas hats.

The weather was beautiful and there was a wonderful festive atmosphere. It was great to see people coming so far to visit Portishead and we definitely be making this an annual event.  We are planning to continue our cold water swimming sessions on Sundays throughout the winter and spring, until the heated season starts in April, including special free community events on Christmas and Boxing Day mornings.