New Year's Day Loony Dook: Excitement builds ahead of Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn events

Brave souls are preparing to take to the water for Kirkcaldy Rugby Club's annual loony dook on Sunday, January 1, 2023.  Pic: Walter Neilson.Brave souls are preparing to take to the water for Kirkcaldy Rugby Club's annual loony dook on Sunday, January 1, 2023.  Pic: Walter Neilson.
Brave souls are preparing to take to the water for Kirkcaldy Rugby Club's annual loony dook on Sunday, January 1, 2023. Pic: Walter Neilson.
Hardy souls are preparing to make a splash on Sunday, January 1, 2023 – many for charity – as they take part in the traditional Loony Dook at events along the Fife coast.

Two organised events are planned in the Kirkcaldy area this year as dookers will go into the Forth from the town’s prom as well as at Kinghorn beach.

And both look set to be a lot of fun and special events for their own reasons.

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It will be the first time the Kinghorn event will take place since before the pandemic in 2020.

The event hasn’t gone ahead for the last two years as government restrictions were in place in 2021 and last year organisers, Kinghorn RNLI, took the decision to cancel as the number of Covid infections was on the rise and tidal conditions were not suitable.

However, they are delighted to be able to bring back the event at Kinghorn beach, which is a huge fundraiser for the charity, in 2023.

Neil Chalmers, press officer for Kinghorn RNLI, said: “We're happy to be able to host the Dook at Kinghorn again after an enforced break.

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“The event will start at noon this time, rather than 11am as it has been previously. We need to ask for registration on the day as part of our insurance, but we will have the lifeboat afloat and crew in the water so it will be a safe event.”

Meanwhile, the event on Kirkcaldy prom, which did go ahead last year, looks set to be one of the town’s biggest dooks yet.

Kirkcaldy Rugby Club, which has organised the fundraiser for the last 20 years, turns 150 in September 2023 and Sunday’s dook marks the start of a year of celebration for all those involved in the club.

Jimmy Bonner, who has organised the Loony Dook for the club for the last 12 years, explained: “Since I took over organising it 12 years ago, the rugby club and friends have given away pennies short of £97,000. It’s been donated to many different charities and organisations. Every charity you can imagine has had some money in the past.

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“This year, because it’s the club’s 150th birthday and there are plans for an event nearly every month in the run up to September the money will predominantly be going to the rugby club this year to help pay for the anniversary events.

"Every team in the rugby club from the seniors down to the p6s and p7s are going to be taking part in the dook this year.

“Anyone under the age of 12 has to be accompanied in the water by an adult and we’re happy for the kids to do it in their club strips rather than spending money on fancy dress outfits.

“With the club being 150 years old on September 30, this year our fancy dress theme for the adults is ‘vintage’, so we're looking for chimney sweeps and Dickens’ characters.

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“With the dook at the bridge being cancelled we’re hopeful this year in Kirkcaldy will be one of the biggest yet.”

But the dook, which takes place behind the large car park at the Morrisons end of the prom, is not just for rugby club members.

Jimmy said: “Anyone is welcome to come along and join us and raise money for their own charities as well.

"The thing that keeps me doing it each year is the reason why we’re doing it. It’s to raise as much money as we can to help others.”

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Both the Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy dooks take place at 12 noon on Sunday, January 1, 2023.

For more information on the Kinghorn Loony Dook visit the Kinghorn RNLI Facebook page.

More details about the Kirkcaldy Loony Dook can be found on the Kirkcaldy Rugby Club Facebook page.

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