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Saundersfoot: X-Factor contestant launched New Year dip

Jay James: At event for the second year.
Launched ice cold swim: Jay James
Launched ice cold swim: Jay James

JAY JAMES is now used to thousands of fans screaming at him, so he probably wasn’t daunted by the crowds attending the Saundersfoot New Year’s Day Dip.

The local X Factor contestant was there to launch the event, now in its 31st year, seeing 1,521 swimmers in fancy dress plunge themselves in the ice cold Pembrokeshire waters.

For the second year, Jay James started the swim which took place alongside a mascot race, made up of well-known local mascots, prior to the main event with Danny Dog of Heatherton Country Sports Park lifting the prestigious Superfast Cymru Trophy.

Following the event, Jay put a heartfelt message on Instagram along with a snap from the event and a selfie with the event’s official mascot Charlie Shivers: “We made history in our home town today, lush to finally come home! Massive love and thanks to the thousands who came out and supported the event, another amazing year, happy 2015.”

Jay, who grew up in Saundersfoot and is deeply proud of the village, will give the countdown and signal the start of this legendary local event where hundreds of swimmers will brave the icy waters to raise money for charitable and worthy causes.

Each year thousands of people visit the village of Saundersfoot to watch or participate in the swim. The 2015 swim will be the village’s 31st and the charitable event has raised around £500,000 since it began and an incredible £37,500 last year.

Jay James, who has taken part in the swim many times before, said: “I grew up with the Saundersfoot New Year’s Day Swim being a yearly tradition and to be able to come back and launch it is a huge honour and a privilege. I urge everyone to donate as the money raised goes towards some fantastic causes and local charities that really make a difference.”

Ex-Royal Navy serviceman Jay made it through to the final eight on ITV’s X Factor and Simon Cowell named him as a favourite to win the show. Jay entertained millions of viewers, as well as the judges, week after week with his rendition of hits including Adele’s Skyfall and his unique twist to I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers reached number 7 on the iTunes chart.  From February 2015 Jay James will join Andrea Faustini, Ben Haenow, Fleur East, Lauren Platt, Only The Young, Stereo Kicks and Stevi Ritchie on the X Factor Live Tour. Kicking off in Belfast, The X Factor 2015 Live Tour will see the eight contestants performing classic songs and viewers’ favourites from the TV series.

Jay James: At event for the second year.
Jay James: At event for the second year.