Sun shines for Guernsey Cheshire Home Boxing Day dip fundraiser

December 28th, 2013 by Richard Lord

There was a good turnout for the 14th annual Boxing Day dip in Cobo bay on Guernsey’s west coast in aid of Guernsey Cheshire Home.

Swimmers and spectators get ready for the Boxing Day Dip at Cobo Beach in aid of Guernsey Cheshire Home (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Swimmers and spectators get ready for the Boxing Day Dip at Cobo Beach in aid of Guernsey Cheshire Home, which was scheduled to begin at 10.30 a.m. (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Castel douzenier Dave Chester who initiated the annual Cobo Bay Boxing Day Dip and is on one of the Guernsey Cheshire Home committees said “the numbers were well up on previous years judging by the number of people on the beach.”

Spectators and supporters line the wall of Cobo Beach to view the spectacle (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Spectators and supporters line the wall of Cobo Beach to view the spectacle (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Jurat Jonathan Hooley, Guernsey Cheshire Home Treasurer, said “there were about 660 swimmers this year compared to about 500 swimmers last year.”

Guernsey kayakers wait offshore to provide help to swimmers who may require it (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Members of the Guernsey Canoe Club patrol offshore to provide help to swimmers who may require it (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“Bearing in mind the weather at 10 o’clock, it was an outstanding result,” Mr Hooley said.

People prepare to dip in Cobo Bay (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

People prepare to dip in Cobo Bay (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Just before 10 a.m. the sky darkened and a heavy hail shower struck the ground.

Crowds of Boxing Day Dippers and supporters gather on the beach (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Crowds of Boxing Day Dippers and supporters gather on the beach (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

L’Estrainfer car park was full, and cars were parking on the grass verge but there were few people on the beach.

Michael and Jennifer Strachan and family take part in the Boxing Day dip to raise funds for Guernsey Cheshire Home (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Michael and Jennifer Strachan and family take part in the Boxing Day dip to raise funds for Guernsey Cheshire Home (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Shortly before the start of the dip in the sea scheduled for 10.30 a.m., the hail shower stopped, the dark clouds moved slowly away, and people came out of their cars and waited their turn to take the steps or the slipway down to Cobo beach.

Boxing Day Dippers line-up for race to the sea (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Boxing Day Dippers line-up for the race to the sea (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Jurat Stephen Jones, former Chairman of Guernsey Cheshire Home, explained “we have to get a rough estimate of the number of participants for insurance purposes.”

Boxing Day Dippers race for the sea (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Boxing Day Dippers race for the sea (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Guernsey Cheshire Home volunteers “count fairly accurately a quarter of the line and multiple by four to get a rough figure.”

The dash for the sea (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The dash for the sea (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“We hope the Boxing Day dip will raise £5000 but when I got to Cobo at 9.30 a.m. and it was grey, overcast and miserable I thought £500 would be good,” he said.

Hundreds run into the sea at Cobo Bay on Guernsey's west coast for the Boxing Day dip (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Hundreds run into the sea at Cobo Bay on Guernsey’s west coast for the Boxing Day dip (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“It’s an event that for most people lasts 30 seconds so to raise so much money in a 30 second event is wonderful,” Stephen Jones said.

Boxing Day dippers charge into the sea at Cobo (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Boxing Day dippers charge into the sea at Cobo (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“The Guernsey Cheshire Home has to raise £500,000 per year or £40,000 per month from charitable sources in Guernsey to top up what the residents can pay,” he said.

Someone's pool thermometer recorded that the sea temperature was just over 9 degrees Celsius (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Someone’s pool thermometer recorded that the sea temperature was just over 9 degrees Celsius (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“The running costs are about £1 million per year but we have to raise half of that.”

Boxing Day dippers leave the sea slightly more slowly than they rushed in (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Boxing Day dippers leave the sea slightly more slowly than they rushed in (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“The Guernsey Cheshire Home has such significant need for money that all the events we do, even if they do only bring in £500 is still well worthwhile.”

Happy Boxing Day Dippers on Cobo beach (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Happy Boxing Day Dippers on Cobo beach (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“We have ten fund raising events per month. Some of them are afternoon teas and quiz nights but they are all really important,” Stephen Jones said.

Christian Georcelin and friends enjoyed the Boxing Day dip (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Christian Georcelin and friends helped raise money for Guernsey Cheshire Home (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“One of the great things the Guernsey Cheshire Home has is a large number of volunteers to do all the fund raising, and even our shop on The Bridge is run entirely by volunteers.”

Brothers Boaz and Samual Williams return from the sea (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Brothers Boaz and Samual Williams return from the sea (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Jonathan Hooley said “the Boxing Day dip is very much a community event, and it gets the name of the Guernsey Cheshire Home out there, and makes the connection with the young people of the island.”

Positive sentiment from a Boxing Day dipper (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Dan Ingrouille in his Dalmatian onesie gives a thumbs up after taking part in the Boxing Day dip in aid of Guernsey Cheshire Home (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“It gets the message of what the Home does to a lot more people than one would otherwise be able to achieve,” he said.

Mat van Leuven, Bailiff of Guernsey Richard Collas, and Oliver Collas participated in the Boxing Day Dip (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

(left to right) Mat van Leuven, Bailiff of Guernsey Richard Collas, and Oliver Collas participated in the Boxing Day Dip for the benefit of the Guernsey Cheshire Home (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“When you see an event like this it makes it all worthwhile. It’s fantastic,” Jonathan Hooley said.

Sgt Pepper returns from the sea (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Joe Brown in a ‘rock star’ themed Sgt Pepper costume returns from the sea (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“People are very generous. They really are.”

Sgt Pepper reunited at the Boxing Day Dip on Cobo Beach (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Joe Brown in his Sgt Pepper costume gets a hug on Cobo Beach (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“Fifteen or twenty Guernsey Cheshire Home volunteers collected money in buckets from family and friends of the participants and from spectators and a table of volunteers wrote certificates for the participants,” Stephen Jones said.

Jurat Stephen Jones, former Chairman of Guernsey Cheshire Home, helps organise the Boxing Day dip (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Jurat Stephen Jones, former Chairman of Guernsey Cheshire Home, helps organise the Boxing Day dip (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“And a lot of Guernsey Cheshire Home professional staff went into the sea, and the Guernsey Cheshire Home residents enjoy the occasion.”

St John Ambulence volunteers attend the Boxing Day Dip to look after anyone who might require medical help. ( image to expand - ©RLLord)

St John Ambulance volunteers (from left to right) Grace Shearer, Ross Senior, Katie Sweeney, and Josie Guille attend the Guernsey Cheshire Home Boxing Day Dip to look after anyone who might require medical help. (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

As well as the Guernsey Cheshire Home volunteers, the Guernsey Canoe Club and St John Ambulance and Rescue Service volunteers are really important because their presence is needed for the insurance cover,” he said.

Guernsey Canoe Club members are offshore to help rescue anything who gets into difficulty (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Guernsey Canoe Club members patrol off the shore to help any swimmers that get into difficulty (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“Even though Cobo is a public beach we still have to worry about public liability insurance and one of the requirements is to have the Guernsey Canoe Club here and St John Ambulance and Rescue Service volunteers on-hand.”

Roger Allsop helps raise money for Guernsey Cheshire Home wears some a pair of Christmas glasses (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Channel swimmer Dr Roger Allsop who helps raise money for Guernsey Cheshire Home wears a pair of Christmas glasses (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

David Nussbaumer was the celebrity dipper this year in recognition of his great support for the Boxing Day dips, and in recognition of his last time as landlord of the Rockmount.

Keeping warm in a Santa outfit after dipping into the English Channel (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Lynn Cleal is a regular Boxing Day dip participant. After her dip into the English Channel she kept warm in a Santa outfit. (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

As in previous years, the Rockmount served free mulled cider and mince pies to participants.

Lynn Cleal in the Santa costume with Dave Cleal in the blue hat with Nigel Le Page of the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy with friends (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

(left to right) Niki Cleal, Lynn Cleal in the Santa costume with Dave Cleal in the blue hat next to Nigel Le Page of the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Guernsey Cheshire Home residents and the organising committee chose ‘rock stars’ as the fancy dress theme for participants this year in honour of the balcony gigs at the Cobo Bay Hotel.

Guernsey Cheshire Home volunteers collected money from Boxing Day dip participants, helpers and spectators (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Guernsey Cheshire Home volunteers collected money from Boxing Day dip participants, family and friends, helpers and spectators (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Dave Chester thanked all the many people who were involved in this annual event and the King’s Mills Brass ensemble who added to the festive cheer by playing music.

(left to right) Jonathan Hooley, Guernsey Cheshire Home Treasurer; hotelier David Nussbaumer, and Dave Chester, Boxing Dip initiator and Castel Douzenier (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

(left to right) Jonathan Hooley, Guernsey Cheshire Home Treasurer; hotelier David Nussbaumer, and Dave Chester, Guernsey Boxing Dip initiator and Castel Douzenier (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

After the event finished and the beach and coast road emptied of people a hail shower returned, this time with a double rainbow ending over Cobo Bay Hotel.

Rainbow over Cobo Bay ends at the Cobo Bay Hotel (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The Boxing Day dippers and spectators have left and a rainbow makes an appearance over Cobo Bay and ends at the Cobo Bay Hotel (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

 

 

  1. No Comments

Have your say