For the event’s second year, the organizers of the 2017 Wrightsville Plunge are staging the New Year’s Day dash into the chilly ocean waters at a new location which they said would give participants an easier path to the water and more opportunity to make a day of the event.
The 2017 Wrightsville Plunge is scheduled for Sunday, 1 p.m. at the Crystal Pier in Wrightsville Beach, where participants will brave the cold for a quick sprint into the water. Organizers are expecting even more people for this year’s event, which will also include more activities for kids, a band in the nearby South End Surf Shop parking lot, and giveaways, including a raffle for a standup paddleboard.
After raising more than $10,000 for Communities in Schools of Cape Fear for the 2016 plunge, executive director Louise Hicks said the 2017 Wrightsville Plunge was on track to exceed last year’s numbers. Already, more than 125 people have registered, when last year’s plunge had just over 50 registrants before the event. Of the 200 people who participated in 2016, nearly three-quarters signed up on site or the day before.
One reason organizers moved the location was to find a better stretch of beach to make the run into the ocean, as Hicks said last year’s location at the Stone Street access had a sand shelf that made getting into and out of the water difficult for some.
“Last year, it was not a flat run out to the water, which made it a little challenging for some,” Hicks said.
Another challenge for the participants will, of course, be the cold water, which is currently in the mid-50s, while the weather for the event is forecast to be in the mid-60s.
By moving the plunge to Crystal Pier, participants will have more opportunities to enjoy the atmosphere, as both the nearby Oceanic Restaurant and and SUNday’s Café have special menus planned for participants, including a signature cocktail called the “Ice Pick.”
Participants can register here: http://www.ciscapefear.org/wrightsville-plunge/