Meet Antrim's Chilli Dippers!

AN intrepid bunch of hardy locals have been taking the plunge at Lough Neagh - and this week they did it by moonlight!

The aptly named Chilli Dippers were the brainchild of Clare McCrory, Karen Johnson and Mags Maclarnon.

“I did my first swim at Helen’s Bay on Christmas Eve but I wanted to swim closer to home,” said Clare.

“I started swimming with the Ballyronan Bluetits and we met at Cranfield regularly.

“A few of us wanted to swim at Antrim so I started a WhatsApp group.

“Demand grew so once COVID restrictions permitted, I started a Facebook group just two-months-ago - and interest grew very quickly!”

And they have enjoyed near perfect conditions in recent weeks.

“The water temp can be four or five degrees in January, but now it’s nearly 20!

“The Lough is colder than the sea in winter but it’s warmer than the sea in summer.

“We meet every weekday morning at 6.30am and most evenings.

“Thursday was my 100th Open Water Swim.”

The Facebook group now has over members. Check it out for more information.

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