GAINESVILLE - The sky was clear and the water was chilly, but not freezing, at the 15th annual Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club Polar Bear Swim at the Olympic Venue on Clarks Bridge Road on Lake Lanier.
One hundred thirty-four swimmers dived into the 48 to 50 degree water at the Venue instead of the clubhouse because of the low lake level, and it was held on New Year's Eve instead of New Year's Day because New Year's falls on Sunday.
LCKC president Kevin Seitz said the swim is a big money maker and a lot of fun.
"Everybody has a good time," Seitz said. "They get to jump in the water to start the New Year off with a bang, then they head to the hot tubs and everybody who participates gets a chili dinner."
There were several individual and first time jumps. One group family jump included 14 people.
It was the second year to dive into the chilly water for Jason Smallwood, among the first to take the plunge.
"It was very, very cold and it feels like somebody hit you in the gut, but it was a lot colder last year," Smallwood said.
Seitz said the Polar Bear Swim is the second largest moneymaker for LCKC.
"Our largest is the Dragon Boat Festival in September, but this is a large portion of what we use for our funds to run the club here," he said.
Here are the award winners from Saturday's Polar Bear Plunge:
Costume - Ed Myers and his two sons ( Dressed as Father Time and New Years babies)
Form - (Tie) Gavin Ross and the Leapfrog Kids - Caleb, Caesar and Dawson
Splash - Chris Hulsey
Oldest - Dick Young (76)
Youngest - (Tie) Jake Parks, Betsy and Becca Wade (twins) 5 years old