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By SHELLEY TOPP

Some say the Waikuku Beach Surf Life Saving Club’s annual winter dip last Sunday morning, held in bitterly cold conditions with light rain, is madness.

However, one keen participant reckons The Invigorator should be compulsory. Either way, it was all in good fun, with many participants dressing in wacky costumes for their bone-chilling swim.

The Woodend-Sefton Community Board deputy chairman, Andrew Thompson, said he supported the event every year. “It’s good for you, something to get out of bed for in the morning. It should be compulsory.”

You would have a hard job convincing Rangiora’s Aaron Philbrick of that. However, his daughter Chloe, aged 9, is a big fan.

“She loves the hotdog afterwards,” Aaron says.

Warm smiles . . . Cecike Philbrick of Rangiora, with daughter Chloe aged 9, keep warm in freezing conditions.

Chloe has taken part in the last two Invigorator events and Aaron has taken the plunge with her both times, but this time mum, Cecile drew the short straw.

“My heart stopped last year,” Aaron joked. “It’s her mum’s turn this time.”

This year’s event attracted a bigger crowd than last year,” said the club’s safety co-ordinator on the day, Helena Cook, of Waikuku.

She thought it was because the event was promoted as part to the Waimakariri Winter Festival lead-up events.

The main festival extravaganza day is being held in Rangiora this Saturday.

Hardy Invigorator participants were offered a hot shower in the clubrooms after their swim and the club also had hot soup, a sausage sizzle and coffee available at the beach.