Falklands Solstice, Marine Celebration and Handing Out “Certificate of Lunatic” — MercoPress

Falklands Solstice, Marine Celebration and Lunatic Certificates handed out

Saturday, July 6, 2024 – 07:52 UTC

With sea temperatures of just 2.9 degrees, it seemed like the right time for a winter plunge.

More than 180 Falkland Islanders gathered at Surf Bay, a beach near the capital Stanley, wearing only their swimming trunks and with hot water bottles ready in case of emergency. On Sunday, June 23, to celebrate the winter solstice, which falls on June 20 in the southern hemisphere, or the day with the least light in 2024.

With the sea temperature at just 2.9 degrees, it seemed like the right time for a winter dive and to practice some basic swimming discipline.

The daring participants in the feat had to run to the sea, dip their heads in the water and count to a certain number to ensure that on their way out they would be awarded the coveted Lunatic Certificate, signed by Her Excellency the Governor of the Falklands.

Event organiser Julie Ford said: “It’s crazy but I love the event. We didn’t realise we would have so many people this time but it was an absolutely fantastic event. We can’t thank everyone enough because it was really something.”

The plunge and short swim are to raise funds for a number of charities, the Stephen Jaffray Memorial, Cancer Prevention and Fighting Cancer and Falkland Shearers.

As it was the thirtieth anniversary of the frozen party, raffle tickets were sold with a first prize of two nights at the Sea Lion Island hostel and two round-trip flights, courtesy of the hostel and the inter-island airline FIGAS.

Rob Millar, one of the daring ones, admitted to having participated because “it is something wonderful, totally crazy, fantastic!!”

Julie Ford added, “I just want to thank everyone for today. I have had so much help from family, friends and all the spectators who have come to the beach and from all the participants. It has been fabulous, my thanks and I wish them all the best, I hope to see them next year.”

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