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Big splash in Urbanna

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For most of the 40-plus people who took the Chili Plunge in Urbanna Creek on Saturday, the experience was brief. (Photo by Tom Chillemi and Captain Buddy Wyker aboard “Blue Chip”)

by Tom Chillemi

With the water in Urbanna Creek at a bone-chilling 35 degrees, more than 40 intrepid swimmers made a splash for the Middlesex Family YMCA on Saturday in the first Urbanna Chili Plunge.

A chorus of screams went up as the group left the beach at the Urbanna Town Marina and ventured into Urbanna Creek. Some ran, a few dove and some swam around—such as Andy Scales, who flashed the peace sign from waist deep water. Asked about the shock of jumping into cold water, Scales said, “What shock? What cold water? I was just out for a swim with friends. I turned around to see who was with me and everyone was running up to the beach. I stood up, dove back under and drifted to the shore to join the others.”

The Chili Plunge was a joint effort of the Urbanna Business Association (UBA) and the Middlesex YMCA. The YMCA coordinated the plunge and the UBA set up a Chili Cook-Off in town.

Over 40 swimmers paid $25 each to dip into the near freezing water. The event raised over $1,000 for the YMCA, said Becca Panis of the Middlesex YMCA. “It definitely was a success in more ways than one and we hope that next year it expands,” she said.

Chili Plunge T-shirts are still available at Something Different Restaurant for $12. Proceeds benefit the Urbanna Business Association.

posted 02.19.2014

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