Despite the wet and windy weather, 1352 swimmers and thousands of spectators welcomed in the New Year at the annual Saundersfoot New Year’s Day Swim in Pembrokeshire. The charitable event just gets bigger and better – and in its 30th year, the hundreds of swimmers pulled out all the stops embracing the event in some really sensational fancy dress.

Highlights included a Giant 30th Birthday Cake (Stepaside Coachworks), The Flinstones, Ashes’ Cricketers (Malin House), Smarties (Saundersfoot School) and Cowboys and Indians (Old Chemist Inn).

To warm-up prior to the event the assembled swimmers took part in a mass dance warm-up lead by Sharon Lloyd.

Singer Jay James Picton then led the singing of happy birthday to the swim’s own mascot, Charlie Shivers, who was celebrating his 30th birthday! The swimmers were sent on their way by a firework launch courtesy of Westcoast Fireworks.

To kick-off proceedings there was a parade of the swimmers who started the swim off 30 years ago, back in 1984.

Best Individual fancy dress winner was Mick Booth, dressed as a giant ‘Charlie’s Birthday Breakfast’, who won 2 tickets to a Wales 6 Nations home match this year.

Best Group Fancy dress winners were Wogan Guest House, who came as Noah’s Ark complete with 30 animals in tow. They won a round of golf at St Pierre golf club in Chepstow. The prizes were donated by Stephen Cole Financial Services.

Saundersfoot Festivities Chairman Martyn Williams said, "We never thought that 30 years ago we would be here now with such a major event in the local calendar. Again we have exceeded expectations and have broken all records. Thirty years on and this event is getting bigger and better with thousands of pounds being raised for charity. The people from Saundersfoot, the surrounding areas and even farther a field have come out in force to support this marvellous event".

Contact: Steve Williams, Chairman of the Organising Committee. Tel: 07903 317550 / 01834 813018.

Photographs of the swim can be obtained from Gareth Davies Photography, Tel: 07836 334436.

For video footage, please contact Joanne Randells on 07790 917476.


  • Event organisers – Saundersfoot Festivities

  • First swim was in 1984

  • Nearly £500,000 raised to date

  • A record £46,166 was raised in 2009, benefiting 55 charitable and worthy causes.

  • 2013 swim raised £35,000

  • The event is sponsored by Powells Cottage Holidays, Pembrokeshire

  • 2 individuals have never missed a swim - Chris Williams & John Joseph (see below)

  • Celebrities including Gavin Henson and Lucy Owen have helped promote the 2014 swim. Their photos, and those of other famous faces, can be viewed on the website - - click on ‘Stars in our Shirts’.

  • Charlie Shivers (Swim Mascot) has his own Facebook page.

‘Last Men Standing’

John Joseph and Chris Williams have taken part in all of the New Year swims to date and they along with Charlie Shivers celebrated the 30th Swim in 2014.


2014 swim - the 30th birthday swim

2014 swim - the 30th birthday swim