Swimmer Breaks the Ice in Russia

Jade Perry, gold award-winning ice swimmer in Russia was sponsored by Mackie's of Scotland
Jade Perry

A record-breaking ice swimmer is returning from the World International Ice Swimming Championships in Russia with two gold medals.

Jade Perry, 36, won first place in her age group for the 1km ice swim, with a time of 15 minutes and 2 seconds, and came first in the 50 metre front crawl with a time of 31 seconds.

The competition pool in Murmansk, Russia was cut out of the ice with a chainsaw and the water temperature was at freezing point.

The outside air temperature was between -4 to -8 celcius.

With over 400 competitors from 32 countries taking part, the Helensburgh-based swimmer, who was ranked 12th among the women to begin with, finished 9th overall.

Jade said: “Before heading to Russia, I’d never swum in such cold water – they were fishing ice out of the water between swims.”

Ahead of her competition in Russia and other exciting challenges throughout the year, Jade successfully secured a year-long sponsorship from luxury ice cream brand Mackie’s of Scotland

She added: “Ice Swimming is such a new sport in Britain, and so isn’t funded in the way that more established sports are – so having Mackie’s get behind me is amazing.”

The temperatures are so extreme, that once out of the icy water, competitors will often experience a phenomenon called “after-drop” where the body reacts to the cold exposure and can trigger violent shaking.

Jade is the women’s British record holder for the fastest 1km ice swim – a title she took home in Hatfield, Doncaster in February 2018. She braved 3.6 degree Celsius water, with a time of 14 minutes and 55 seconds.

Karin Hayhow, Marketing Director at Mackie’s, said: “We’re proud to support Jade’s progress as we admire her bravery and determination – and her love for the cold!

“With her motto that it’s never too cold for swimming, and ours that it’s never too cold for ice cream, we knew that there was an affinity there.”

The swimmers competing have trained for years to become acclimatised, working up to these exposure times and conditions. Each swim is risk assessed and safety covered.

Originally from Hockley in Essex, Jade moved to Scotland for its abundance of open water so that she could train more easily.