Dip in Nip ladies have now raised over €100,000
After five years of taking to the water with carefree abandon, of dropping their dressing-gowns and dipping in the nip, the women of Wexford and beyond have raised more than €100,000 for the Hope Cancer Support Centre in Enniscorthy.
As the sun peeped over the horizon on Sunday morning, 381 women gathered at a secret location on Rosslare Beach for this year's Dip in the Nip. They wore nothing but their gowns and looks of excitement mixed with fear.
They stood by the shoreline and waited for the countdown to commence. Then, upon instruction, the gowns were discarded and the women made their way to the water, some sprinting, others walking, but all determined to complete their task.
And for organiser, Eileen Rowe, that moment of euphoria, that feeling of mass liberation, sums up the event and what it means for those who take part.
'The screeching and the whooping as everyone goes in has to be heard to be believed. It's one of those experiences that once you do it you'll want to do it again, I've never come across anyone who's done it and regretted it. Physically and mentally it's so good for you,' she said.
While the morning dip left all those in attendance feeling invigorated and alive, it also raised a five figure sum which, when added to the previous year's totals, takes the grand total to more than €100,000.
'After we'd counted the money on the day we'd raised €17,000, which was similar to what we had at the same time last year. But I still have six more weeks of collecting money to go so I'd expect that figure to rise considerably. Last year we raised €28,000 altogether.' said Eileen.
That figure came courtesy of women from all over the country, not just Wexford.
'There's a real community spirit to it, people came from all over the country. There's friendships made on that beach every year, people swap phone numbers and stay in contact. I come across people who've met in the first year and have stayed friends ever since, only meeting at the dip every August,' Eileen confirmed.
Thanking Rosslare Community Centre for their assistance in organising the event, and all those who volunteered, Eileen said it was 'a privilege' to be involved with the Dip in the Nip every year and hoped that, in time, a dip for the men would take place on the same weekend as the women's event.