Image: Mark Klotz
This year marks the 91st annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim at English Bay. At the beginning of each new year thousands of Vancouverites descend upon English Bay to take a dip in the frigid water. Will you be taking a dip? I know it sounds a little insane, however, each year a record for attendance is broken so it can’t be that bad. Can it?
The Vancouver Polar Bear SwimClub is one of the largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs in the world. Its initial swim was in 1920 when a small number of hardy swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day. Led by their founder, Peter Pantages, the swim has grown from around 10 swimmers in that year to the record number of 2,128 official entries in 2000.
The swim takes place at 2:30pm on the first day of each new year. This gives you enough time to struggle out of bed from the night before. Many participants come in costumes so if you want to dress up, by all means do so. The Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race is the highlight of this event.
To be a club member you must register before the swim. Registration takes place in front of the English Bay Bathhouse from 12:30pm – 2:30pm each New Year’s Day. You may also register by clipping out the coupon in the Province Newspaper and presenting it at the registration desk the day of the swim. Donation of non-perishable food bank items will be accepted.
When: January 1, 2011
Where: English Bay Bathhouse
How about a Polar Bear Swim Tweet up this year?