Arctic Flappy Nippy Dippers: A Bluetits Event
Following the success and popularity of their first winter swimming event in November 2021, The Bluetits put on a second similarly-themed swim on 12 March 2022. As before, the event took place at the lovely Lake 32 in the Cotswold Water Park, and followed a similar format (although minus the inflatables relay, due to the cooler temperature).
Swimmers could choose to swim from 50m to 400m of which the latter was the most popular, despite the chilly water temperature of around 7.5 degrees. Luckily, apart from a few brief showers, the weather on the day was pleasant with more than a hint of spring in the air, which made warming up post-swim a little easier.
The swims were all non-competitive and by far the majority of swimmers swam a leisurely breaststroke. Rather than pelting into the water, like you see triathletes doing at the start of their races, swimmers sensibly took their time, encouraging each other to go ahead. Swearing was heard. The organisers decline to record swim times or finish positions and the only prizes are for the best hats or in the raffle.
The Bluetits Chill Swimmers Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation started in 2014 by Sian Richardson, who is also the Arctic Flappy Nippy Dippers organiser. From two friends swimming together through the winter, Bluetits has grown to a global network of informal groups that swim or dip together.
The event at Lake 32 allowed swimmers from different groups around the country to meet, and also gave many participants their first experience of taking part in an event and tackling a measured distance.