Are you brave enough for the New Year’s Day dip?

This year's Gafirs New Year's Day swim at Stokes Bay 
Picture Ian Hargreaves

This year's Gafirs New Year's Day swim at Stokes Bay Picture Ian Hargreaves

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REGISTRATION for one of the chilliest charity swims of the year has now opened.

Each New Year’s Day Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) organises a dip in the icy winter waters of the Solent in Stokes Bay.

The event, which has been going for more than 30 years, has become a fundraising tradition.

Gafirs spokesman James Baggott said: ‘The New Year’s Day swim is a lot of fun but you have to be quite brave to take a dip.

‘People dress up in all sorts of weird and wonderful costumes and it’s great to watch the look on their faces as they take their first tentative steps in.

‘So many good causes benefit from the swim and we hope to see lots of people there on New Year’s Day.’

The swim starts at midday. All those who brave the cold water will receive a certificate for their efforts.

Participants also have the opportunity to raise money through sponsorship for a charity of their choice.

This year’s swim raised £5,000 for good causes. A record 478 swimmers took part with 41 different charities benefitting.

Gafirs does not benefit financially from hosting the event but is one of the charities happy to receive donations.

Parking is available at the site but spaces get snapped up quickly.

Swimmers and spectators are encouraged to walk to Stokes Bay if they can.

For more information and to sign up go to gafirs.org.uk or search Gafirs on Facebook.

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