Feel mighty! Laugh and shriek! Win a race! Have the best costume!
Last year’s inaugural Buckfastleigh Ice Gala (BIG) saw 84 competitors, their friends and families, enjoy 8 degree water races, great grub, funky tunes and costumes, great prizes and raised several hundred £ to keep the community pool open.
This year we’re doing it again. If you fancy a cold water swimming challenge (temperatures in the water could be below 6C), a bit of friendly competition and a good excuse to shriek freely – this is the event for you.
Note – the race rules require you to wear no more than a swimming costume, goggles and hat. Wetsuits, rash vests, thermal tops, bottoms etc are not allowed. But there are exceptions for wacky costumes and hats!
The Buckfastleigh Ice Gala is a cold water swimming gala for a community of swimmers to have fun and raise some money for the pool. All profits from the event will help to support this community run facility, but we also actively welcome swimmers who want to take on this challenge to raise funds for causes close to their own hearts. Last year three relay teams from Newton Abbott College raised money for their school trip to Borneo, for example.
Buckfastleigh Pool is 21m long. In the summer months it is heated and provides a valuable amenity to our small moorland town. The pool is run and owned by the community and relies on the voluntary efforts of local people to keep it open. Your participation and entry fee will help to keep it open.
We are offering the following events to swimmers over the age of 14:
Relay - 4x42m
4 swimmers each swimming two lengths (42m) of the pool without a wetsuit. There will be prizes for the best team costumes, as we intend this to be more about fun than winning a swimming race.
Teams seeking sponsorship to fundraise for causes close to their hearts are very welcome, and we'll ensure your cause gets a mention.
Freestyle 42m event (2 lengths)
Results will be posted for male and female; and we’ll have a final for men and one for women. Final is one length freestyle, one length butterfly (or its closest approximation!) But you are welcome to swim just for fun too. Again non-wetsuit.
Head Up Breaststroke 42m event (2 lengths)
Results will be posted for male and female; and we’ll have a final for men and one for women. But you are welcome to swim just for fun too. Again non-wetsuit.
There will be a hot room available for a warming up afterwards, hot drinks available and a variety of hot and cold snacks. Spectators are very welcome, for a small charge on the day, and they'll have a great view of your swim from our terraces.
ENTRY SALES CLOSE ON 10 February
Registration will be open from 1100 to 1200 on the day, please arrive in plenty of time for your swim - a schedule of races, start times and information regarding the start procedure will be published nearer the time at http://www.buckfastleighpool.co.uk
Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
Swimmers must be over 14 years of age, there is no upper age limit.
Do I need to be fit to do this event?
You do not need to be very athletically fit, but you must be able to confidently swim the distance you are entering. If you have any underlying medical condition including, but not limited to, heart condition, blood pressure condition, respiratory condition or are pregnant you should seek medical advice before taking up cold water swimming. You should not swim if you have a fever or chest infection on the day.
There are risks associated with cold water swimming; these include increased risk of cramp, initial hyperventilation, weakness in the limbs and reduced coordination. These risks are, however, reduced if you do some training (see below) prior to the event to ensure that you are acclimatised to cold water. Any risks will also be reduced by respecting the judgement of our lifeguards, and acting on their requests without question.
Do I need to have cold water swimming experience?
Yes. You must do some training to make sure that you are used to getting into cold water and know what it feels like to swim in cold water. If you are new to the sport it is not too late to start that process, but please don't leave it too late.
What safety cover is there?
The event will be fully life-guarded and our life-guards have received cold water specific training. Our lifeguards will not hesitate to ask a swimmer to leave the water if they are concerned. In entering this event you agree to respect their judgment and comply with their requests without question. There is also medical support on-site, and we will have a warm room available to re-warm anybody that we believe needs it. Again, swimmers should respect the organisers' judgement regarding re-warming as people who are very cold can experience impaired judgement.
Will I get a medal?
Yes, if you place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the final. There is a final for men and women for each individual race; and we will give prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the best costume. There'l also be prizes for the winning relay team and the best fancy dress.
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
Buckfastleigh Pool is adjacent to a large car park.
What can/can't I bring to the event?
You are welcome to bring your own food and drink, but please DON'T bring any glass or ceramics on site. You can also bring camping chairs if you prefer that to sitting on the terraces. There is plenty of room to spread out and enjoy yourself. If it is raining you may wish to bring an umbrella as we have limited undercover space.
Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
No. We do not allow transfer of tickets because that helps to ensure that all swimmers know exactly what they are committing to. Relay team captains will need to notify the names of their team members to firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I update my registration information?
If there are significant changes you can email Bfl.email@example.com, but it is likely that we will be able to deal with most issues on the day.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Yes please, this will help to make registration run smoothly.
What is the refund policy?
We regret that refunds cannot be given under any circumstances should you be unable to swim on the day. However, if the event is cancelled in its entirety we will refund your entry fees less the payment handling fee.
The name on the registration/ticket doesn't match the attendee. Is that okay?
No. We want to know that all swimmers know what they have committed to, and for that reason we ask people to register themselves and not others. If there is a particular reason why you want to register somebody else please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The only exception to this is the team event where the captain registers the team and then provides the details of their teammates and team name.