With the water calm and the weather bright, sunny but decidedly nippy, a total of 82 hardy souls plunged into the water at Carnlough Harbour.
Hundreds of spectators were in attendance to watch the swimmers and keeping a watchful eye on everyone were members of the Larne Branch of the Saint John Ambulance.
With everyone back on terra firma and changed the swimmers and supporters their way to the Bridge Inn for food and refreshmets prior to the social festivities taking place.
Chairman of the Association Billy McIlroy said it was very pleasing to see so many swimmers and in particular youngsters on this the 45th year of the Carnlough event.
Mementoes and certificates were then presented to the swimmers by Mrs Joan Linton and daughter Ray.
Last year the swim raised the magnificent sum of £4705 and this year £3275 was lifted on the day thanks to the generous sponsorship from the general public.
The social festivities which went down a treat then got off to a good start with Bert Kernohan carrying out the duties of Compere and the Music being supplied by Aidan Canning.
Bert organised the Irish dancing and quite a number of ladies were soon strutting their stuff namely - Claire Garrett, Helen Ross, Martha Lorimer, Roisin O’Neil, Rosalind Ross-Logan, Shawna Kearney, Claire Falls, Margaret Kearney, Audrey Moss and the men Bert Kernohan, Andrew Kernohan and Geoff Bell.
The choir challenge followed and Billy McIlroy had the onerous task of being judge. He decided ‘by the narrowest of margins’ that the men had just squeaked past the ladies who, no doubt, will be back next year to re-claim the Crown.
After a few hours of entertainment and as the evening drew to a close Billy paid very special thanks to the following people:
John and Eileen Davidson of the Bridge Inn Carnlough and their Staff for their courteous service and use of the facilities; Aidan Canning who provided the music; James Henry and Staff Broughshane Street Ballymena who provided the transport and chaperoned the Swimmers from the Seven Towers Leisure Centre Ballymena to Carnlough; Larne branch of the Saint John’s Ambulance for their Attendance at the Swim; Robert McHenry and the Carnlough Rowing Club for the use of the Boathouse; Mr Paul McWilliams Proprietor of Presentations of Ballymena who supplied the Swimmers’ Mementoes; Ballymena Business Equipment. Larne Street Ballymena who supplied the Certificates; Pam and Sabrina Donnell for the Harbour Collection which raised £362.00; Sabrina, Pam and Darren Donnell who organised the Raffle, and Mrs Joan Linton and Friends who donated prizes which raised £258.00.
Billy also thanked Mr. Michael “Spud” Murphy who donated a bottle of vodka for nearest the bottle which raised £74 in fifteen minutes.
Next year will be the 46th Anniversary of the event which was started off by the late John McNeil, Bill Bell, Danny Wylie and Aidan Metrusty.