Water way to start the year!

Madcap Scarborough 
fundraisers kicked off 2014 by doing what they’ve been doing for decades – getting really, really wet.

Thousands of spectators turned out to watch a pair of zany annual New Year’s Day events.

Scores of dippers run into the sea to mark the new year

Scores of dippers run into the sea to mark the new year

In Ayton, a large crowd cheered on the teams in the decades-old traditional tug of war between the east and west ends of the village.

And in South Bay, it was standing room only as thousands of people braved the rain to watch on as nuns, snowmen and Superman sprinted into the icy sea for the 21st annual New Year’s Day dip.

In Ayton, the west end of the village tightened its stranglehold on the trophy, yanking their rivals into the murky waters for the sixth year in a row – although shouter Paul Coole said that there could be a rule change next year.

“I’m not using it as an excuse, but on our side of the river, it was wet through,” said Phil, who suggested the teams could rotate sides next year.

“But at the end of the day, it’s just a laugh and a good day for the community.”

And in the Scarborough Lions dip, 75 people took the plunge for charity in a range of wacky costumes.

Mayor Andrew Backhouse awarded the best dressed prize to dip first-timer David Mawtus.

The Cloughton man dressed up as Betty from the Flintstones – but lost his prize in the water.

He said “It was absolutely freezing, but I’d do it