What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2017?
A new year means a fresh start; a clean slate; a blank canvas. It’s time to wave goodbye to the good, the bad and the ugly of 2016. What better way to do so than to strip down to nearly nothing, hold hands with friends and loved ones, and madly dash into the icy ocean?
You know what we’re referring to.
The annual Polar Bear Swim takes place at English Bay on January 1st, 2017 and is the perfect way to welcome the New Year with open – most likely numb – arms.
Since 1920, the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club has been taking the plunge, making them one of the oldest, and now largest, Polar Bear Clubs in the world. Back then, only around 10 swimmers took part in the fun. Attendance has grown to a record of 2,550 (set in 2014) swimmers! Can 2017 be the year that we break that record?
If you want to cool off and join in on the 57th Polar Bear Swim, be sure to meet at English Bay between 2:30-3:30pm.
You can register for the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race for your chance to win great prizes and compete with fellow ‘polar bears’. Download the application form and bring it with you to the swim to register.
Remember to get goofy with your costume, too! We’ve seen some epic swimmers in the past dressed as Vikings, penguins, and even a giant paper mache shark. And be warned – there are a lot of dudes in speedos. Brrrrr.
For those of you brave souls who plan to take part this year, keep these tips in mind:
- If you have a heart problem – just watch!
- Children must swim and stay with an adult.
- Please leave your dog at home.
- Do not drink – alcohol does not warm you up – it accelerates hypothermia.
- Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
- Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.
- Entrants in the 100-yard race – meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
- First 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat – give your names to the lifeguard.
- After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table.
- Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.
Don’t forget to share your photo fun with us on Instagram by tagging #604Now! Also, use #VanPolarBearSwim for a chance to be featured in the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Clubs’ gallery and win four swim passes.
Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2017
When: Sunday, January 1st, 2017
Where: English Bay – 1700 Beach Avenue
Cost: FREE! T-Shirts to commemorate the event are $25 (available at the event)