Costumes out for midwinter swim
Barack Obama, a pirate, and people wearing dressing gowns were among the odd collection of folks plunging into the sea off Waikanae Beach on Sunday.
Thirty swimmers, many dressed in costume, braved chilly waters to take part in the event organised by Peter Ellis and the Kapiti Observer.
Heavy rain Saturday night cleared for a bright sunny day, but left the water a dirty brown, described by one participant as swimming in effluent.
Participants, ranged from regulars at the event held annually, apart from last year, to first timers, and even a newly engaged couple from England. Lucy Beasley and Laurence Paulford got engaged on their way out to New Zealand and made the swim with Sara-Anne, Maria and Andrew Brown, of Waikanae, and dog Cleo.
After a short dip, swimmers returned to the Waikanae Boating Club for hot soup and prizes.
Waikanae's Nick ten Broeke scooped the best dressed prize, $75 of gift vouchers courtesy of Coastlands. Sleepyheads, Julie Gibson and Helen Gray of the Kapiti Women's Centre, with honorary male member Richard Wall, won the team prize of $75 of Coastlands vouchers - the trio wearing dressing gowns and clutching hot water bottles.
Referring to the large crowd that gathered to watch the swim, participant Mark Richards said it was interesting there were "more voyeurs than swimmers".
While some described the water as freezing, others said it was surprisingly pleasant. Waikanae's Julie Turk said it was "lovely and warm" compared to the sea out from the Waikanae Estuary where she swam daily. Last year she swam on 324 days, and since September last year she has clocked up 283, she said.
- Kapiti Observer
Should Kapiti have international airport?Related story: (See story)