SWIRLING winds and rough seas failed to deter a bunch of brave bathers from taking part in the New Year’s Day swim at Whitesands.

The annual event, organised by St Davids Penknife Club, saw more than 100 swimmers charge to the icy waters from the surf lifesaving club, cheered on by the large crowds.

A gorilla and a mermaid were among the fancy dress entrants who were raising money for the new lifeboat station at St Justinians and Porthmawr Surf Lifesavers.

Roger Williams, treasurer of the Penknife Club, said: “The swim went really well and we were really pleased with the turnout.

“We had about 130 people go into the water, which is impressive on a day like today. At half past eleven we were thinking people weren’t coming.

“We’re raising money for the RNLI and Porthmawr lifesavers, some of which were in the water looking after the swimmers today.”

Early estimates indicate than £1,000 has been raised in sponsorship money.

The Mayor of St Davids, Councillor David Halse was out in his mayoral robes to cheer on the swimmers.

He said: “It was lovely to see so many people on a damp and blustery morning at Whitesands Beach. There was a great community atmosphere with locals supported by holiday makers from as far away as New Zealand.

“Congratulations to the Penknife Club for organising such a successful event and for all the voluntary work they do in support of local charities throughout the year.”