Dive into 2018 at the Annual Vancouver Polar Bear Plunge

Polar bear swim vancouver 2018

Image courtesy of GoToVan | Flickr.com

Now that Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to focus on New Year’s! Hopefully you’ve already got your party plans for the evening, but what are you going to be doing the morning after? For many locals and visitors alike, New Year’s Day is the time to cross an item off the ultimate bucket list with the annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim.

The ultimate hangover cure, the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim is one of the largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs in the world. If you weren’t already aware, a Polar Bear Swim includes a quick, invigorating jump into the ocean. A great way to start the new year!

The first Polar Bear Swim took place 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 new record of 2,550 official entries set in 2014.

polar bear swim vancouver 2018

Image by Karen | Flickr.com

In 2018, the weather is looking balmy – a pleasant 5 degrees celsius, with sun! The perfect forecast for a dip into the Pacific Ocean!

If you’d like to join the fun this January, the 2018 Polar Bear Swim will take place on New Year’s Day (Monday, January 1, 2018) from 2:30 – 3:30pm. It’s free to participate, but the Greater Vancouver Food Bank will also be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash.

Whether this is your 57th time participating, or you’re just planning on checking this off your bucket list for the one and only time, you can take part by:

  • Dressing-up in fancy costume
  • Competing in the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race
  • Just coming out to watch and delight in the spectacle!

If you do participate, you’ll get a great commemorative button and excellent bragging rights! Plus, you’ll really appreciate that hot chocolate or scalding hot coffee after the event. Go ahead, add a little Bailey’s in it too – you deserve it!

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim | Vancouver New Year's Eve Top Events

Photo Credit – goodnewsweekly.ca

Swim tips

  • 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.

If you’re not located near Downtown, you can also check out the Penguin Plunge in Deep Cove happening at 2:00 pm, or the Annual Polar Bear Swim in White Rock starting at noon!

2018 Polar Bear Swim Details

Date: Monday, January 2, 2018

Time: 2:30 – 3:30pm

Cost: Free. Participants must register online. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will also be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash.

Location:English Bay Bathhouse – 1700 Beach Avenue, Vancouver

Website: www.vancouver.ca

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