VIDEO: West Seattle New Year’s Day 2015 Polar Bear Swim!

(WSB video/photos, unless otherwise credited)
Though the New Year had arrived 10 hours earlier, for hundreds, it wasn’t 2015 until the annual Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach. This year, the water was warmer than the air – ~50 degrees and 32 degrees respectively. Whatever the temperature or weather conditions, some wouldn’t miss it, like Kayleen Dunson and her fellow softball umpires (join them on the field this year!), with the morning’s most-patriotic photo op:

Water-testing was called for, too.

Of course, Seahawks fans were in view …

… after on-the-beach decorating:

Not as many costumed swimmers this year, but festive hats were in evidence:

(That photo and next by Russ Walker, whose Flickr gallery is here)

Big smiles too – this one’s from Frank Gross of Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor):

Finally it was time for the countdown – here’s organizer Mark Ufkes with the megaphone:

And … they’re off!

(Photo by Craig Young)
Post-plunge, organizer Ufkes was of course among those emerging triumphantly:

Spectators caught it all:

Awaiting the newly soaked Polar Bears, chowder from Duke’s across the street, and info about the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s upcoming Totem Cruise:

(Photo courtesy SWSHS/Clay Eals)
That’s SWSHS volunteer Liz Day in the foreground; in the background, Duke’s GM Greg Green and server Autumn Kline with the chowder. Whether you swam, stayed on shore, or stayed home, a Happy 2015 to all!

Past years’ WSB coverage:

7 Replies to "VIDEO: West Seattle New Year's Day 2015 Polar Bear Swim!"

  • Kayleen January 1, 2015 (3:48 pm)

    Great coverage of a great event! So much fun for everyone!

  • Karen Lyons January 1, 2015 (4:39 pm)

    Great Fun! Thanks, the Blog. I can see me in the middle of the video so I have proof! Duke’s clam chowder was a blessing after getting out to the cold. Water, really, wasn’t bad ;->

  • Al January 1, 2015 (5:11 pm)

    Great job Mark!

  • chelle January 1, 2015 (5:45 pm)

    It was my husband and my first time. Wow! So much fun and the water was much warmer than the outside temp.

  • lina January 1, 2015 (5:46 pm)

    it was SO awesome!! thanks everyone for the cheering and encouragement. a wonderful way to start my year.

  • Lauri January 1, 2015 (7:37 pm)

    What a great, ridiculous way to start the new year. The weather was just like it was 2 years ago: perfect!

    Thanks so much to the lovely couple who offered towels to me and my son, because we left ours in the car and my husband didn’t find a parking place in time to get them to us. Happy New Year!

  • Mark Ufkes January 1, 2015 (9:58 pm)

    Thanks to the West Seattle Blog for the great coverage. And to the many hundreds who attended, we all won the lottery that really matters. Happy New Year everyone!

    Mark Ufkes

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