UPDATE: Record-breaking crowd rings in the new year at Delta Polar Bear Swim

Records were broken as more than 500 raced towards the cold waters of Boundary Bay for the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. “There were so many people we actually ran out of Polar Bear buttons, way more than 500 participants this year,” said event volunteer Britta Forbes. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Records were broken as more than 500 raced towards the cold waters of Boundary Bay for the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. “There were so many people we actually ran out of Polar Bear buttons, way more than 500 participants this year,” said event volunteer Britta Forbes. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
The goal of the Polar Bear Swim is to swim out to the bell and ring in the new year at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Paddle boarders watch the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Paddle boarders watch the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Grandmother Julie Favella gets set for her fourth Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Records were broken as more than 500 raced towards the cold waters of Boundary Bay for the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. “There were so many people we actually ran out of Polar Bear buttons, way more than 500 participants this year,” said event volunteer Britta Forbes. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
The crowd rushes into the frigid ocean during the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Records were broken as more than 500 raced towards the cold waters of Boundary Bay for the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. “There were so many people we actually ran out of Polar Bear buttons, way more than 500 participants this year,” said event volunteer Britta Forbes. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Water temperatures were around 12 degrees Celsius for the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Sam Martin dressed like a Santa on vacation for the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Sam Martin dressed like a Santa on vacation for the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
(From left) Dale Roberts, Garth Strombergsmith and Ashwin Puri were all smiles during the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Garth Strombergsmith celebrates his third annual icy dip at the Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Dale Roberts and Ashwin Puri splash each other during the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Dale Roberts celebrated his ninth time participating in the Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
(From left) Second place finisher Harlan Theaker of Ladner, first place finisher Cullen Jamieson from Tsawwassen and third place finisher Steven Tubbs from Burnaby wave to the crowd from atop the podium at the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
The award for the furthest traveled to take part in the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020 went to Jenine O’Brien of Margaret River, Australia. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
Wilson, the search and rescue bear, greeted attendees at the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)
The water off Centennial Beach was cold as ice during the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim in Delta, B.C. on Jan. 1, 2020. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

More than 500 people took part in the 40th annual Polar Bear Swim in Boundary Bay on New Year’s Day.

The record-breaking crowd, many wearing costumes, rang in the new year by racing into the frigid 12 C waters off Centennial Beach.

“There were so many people we actually ran out of Polar Bear buttons, way more than 500 participants this year,” said event volunteer Britta Forbes.

Hundreds more chose to stay warm and dry on shore, cheering the swimmers on and taking in family-friendly entertainment like live ice carving, a drum circle workshop, marshmallow roasting, a kids’ treasure hunt, face painting, and a raffle draw, as well as delicious hot chocolate provided by the Tsawwassen Boundary Bay Lions Club.

Trophies and prizes were awarded to the top three swimmers, as well as the oldest swimmer and the person who traveled the farthest to take part in the swim.

Cullen Jamieson of Tsawwassen took home the prize for first place, followed by Harlan Theaker of Ladner and Steven Tubbs of Burnaby.

Jenine O’Brien of Margaret River, Australia took home the prize for swimmer who traveled from farthest away, while 84-year-old Michael Harbott was the day’s oldest swimmer.

— with files from Ryan-Alexander McLeod

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the first place winner as Jamieson Cullen.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: McCallum’s futile crusade against Uber is embarrassing for Surrey

Mayor’s claim that majority of residents don’t want ride-hailing is simply laughable

Surrey bylaw’s tactics with Uber drivers deemed ‘entrapment’ and ‘completely wrong’

That’s what Councillors Brenda Locke and Linda Annis had to say Monday about city staff hailing Uber drivers then issuing them warnings

South Surrey/White Rock residents snubbed on ride-hailing services

Lyft and Uber express plan to expand to peninsula once enough drivers are available

Surrey Eagles qualify for BCHL playoffs after weekend victories

Junior hockey team will return to post-season for second time in six years

VIDEO: Kenney wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police release photo of suspect in theft of Indigenous regalia in Vancouver

A person stole nine pieces of Indigenous regalia, five drums, and traditional boots

Opioid crisis to blame for shorter life expectancy in B.C. men, says Stats Can

Opioid crisis held responsible for declining life expectancy

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Newspapers, hockey cards discovered in Mission school’s forgotten time capsule

Capsule opened in front of students from West Heights Community School

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Taxi association asks B.C. Supreme Court to stop Uber, Lyft from operating

Petition alleges Passenger Transportation Board did not take taxis into account

Majority of Canadian boards had no female members in 2016 and 2017: StatCan

Statistics Canada says 18.1 per cent of director seats were held by women in 2017

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Most Read