Almost 20 committed Whiritoa club supporters turned up in their “best” clothes to dive into the chilly seas. The annual mid-winter swim held every Queens Birthday drew a group of keen swimmers from New Zealand’s oldest surf life guard to fairy princesses. They all jumped into the freezing water to prove they are made of tougher stuff than the crowd of onlookers. Once out of the water the campaigners won prizes of towels, slippers and novelty hats from the proud sponsor Bed, Bath and Beyond. The final word of the day came from Whiritoa club member, midwinter swim organiser and captain of the winning best dress team, said “as a keen Disney fan he hopes there will be more characters in the water in 2015.” Spectators and swimmers all enjoyed home-made soup and sausages as a reward for their support of the local Whiritoa community.