THE annual New Year’s Day charity swim off Javea’s Arenal beach proved to be a major public event raising an estimated €2,400.
Grinning through gritted teeth, over 30 brave hearts ran into a sea cold enough to bring tears to the eyes of even the hardiest of volunteers.
Fortunately all survived long enough to enjoy a few alcoholic revivers in the organisers Lancashire Bruja Bar after the event.
Designed to raise money for the children of the Preventorio Infantil Gandia, the swim is so popular that earlier a crowd of several hundred warmly dressed spectators who had gathered in anticipation of witnessing a crazy masochist circus, were asked to move on by the local police as they were blocking the entire terraces.
Fortunately, all ended in smiles when after a brief explanation, it was rumoured that the police not only allowed the event to proceed, but eventually contributed some of their own coins to the cause.
The loyal supporters were eventually rewarded when a collection of foolhardy ‘dippers’ dressed in a magnificent variety of characters that included Arabs, Clowns, Victorian bathing belles and a blue man encouraged by loud cheers and warm applause, ran into the sea where they remained for the required minimum time of 10 freezing minutes.
After the event, the organisers said they were very happy with the results and asked the EWN to publish their thanks to all volunteers and supporters for turning out on what is known as the daddy of all hangover days.
The Preventorio Infantil Gandia is not an orphanage, but a safe refuge for children, who are placed in the care of Nuns to protect them from serious instability within their home environment – an ongoing problem that has seen a dramatic increase during the present economic crisis.
By Benny Davis