15 Dec: Water temp at 8° and I did it!!!!

The conditions were lovely – the water was just above 8°C, the coldest I have swum in so far and the air temperature was nearly double that at about 15°C, especially as we swam in the afternoon.

The atmosphere was amazing – there were around 2’500 participants in the whole event and we were ushered by a wonderful group of volunteers (volunteers make the world go round, I’m getting to be convinced of that ).  Each group went to the departure area where they threw buckets of water at us to prepare us for the swim and then, plouf, we were away.  Our headdresses were perfect – because only our heads were above water, they really did look like birds floating on the water.  As we swam we performed a few theatrical twirls whilst we swam to show the crowds on the bank all sides of our headdresses.

Once we had finished, we were given a bar of chocolate and a warm delicious drink of something to help warm us through.  Then we got dressed again and back to one of the group’s place for a celebratory drink and meal.  It was a great experience – I would thoroughly recommend it.

Why did I do this?
I’m swimming in Lake Geneva this winter, participating for the first time in the Coupe de Noel. Why am I doing this, you ask? I’m doing it because although it’s incredibly hard, it is nothing compared to facing cancer, especially when you are not in your home country.

Both my parents died of cancer 30 years ago, and I know what it was like to have to deal with that in a country where I spoke the language and I knew how things worked.  And my sister and I were lucky – we had plenty of friends and family around us to help support us through this time. I cannot imagine trying to do that where you don’t know the language nor how things work.

My friend has been asking me for three years, and I have always refused – what crazy, masochistic person would put their near-naked body into water less than 10 degrees by choice? Definitely not me – I like my water warm and with bubbles i.e. sitting in a Jacuzzi with a glass of champagne. Not swimming in the lake!! But this year, I said yes.

And that’s where ESCA Cancer Support comes in. They are here to support people who are affected by cancer; their services are free to anyone who needs them. I have joined the wonderful team Opera l’Eau and this year, on 15 December, I will swim in water that is probably about 6 degrees wearing a handmade artistic costume in front of hundreds of spectators and journalists. To prepare for this horrendous feat, since September, I’ve been going to the Bains des Paquis once a week (some go more than once a week), and swim. Each week, the water gets colder. Each week, it gets harder! But each week, I am getting ready for the Big Day, in support of ESCA Cancer Support. My ask to you is that you join me, if not in the lake, in some form of financial donation to ESCA CS. And if you want to come down and watch the fun and games on the day, then we will be down in the lake at on Sunday December 15. Come and watch the races. It will be fun!


CHF 1,100 raised

Support Chris as she takes the icy plunge!

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Donation Total: CHF 10


Stevie Black

CHF 50 14 January 2020

I know it's a bit after the fact, but well done - ya crazy bugger!! :)

Anonymous User


CHF 50 30 December 2019

Christina Vale

CHF 20 26 December 2019

Rowan Unsworth

CHF 25 21 December 2019



janet ireland

CHF 50 20 December 2019

Well done, I don't envy you. Brrr! 🥶


Hester Macdonald

CHF 50 20 December 2019

Anthony Walker

CHF 25 19 December 2019

Top effort for a top cause .


Ian Jones

CHF 10 18 December 2019

Mandy Thomas

CHF 50 17 December 2019

Go Chris! Amazing effort. Very proud of you. Hope you will be continuing .....


Judith Broadbridge

CHF 50 12 December 2019

Well done Chris xx

Anonymous User


CHF 20 9 December 2019

Sue Wells

CHF 50 8 December 2019

Brrrr. Good for you!