Chilly Auckland weather added to the team atmosphere for a group of young rugby players at Takapuna Beach at the weekend.
About 28 players from the Westlake Boys' High School development squad took a mid-winter swim at the beach yesterday as part of their fundraising campaign for a tour to California in April.
Rob Taylor, the teacher in charge of the tour, said each team member was responsible for finding himself a sponsor for the beach event, which raised at least $3000.
Before hitting the water and swimming 150m out, the team warmed up with a haka.
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"They certainly had to make it a bit more than a dip," Mr Taylor said.
When everyone arrived at the beach, it was raining and cold. However, the weather cleared about 10 minutes before the swim began, he said.
"It was glassy, it was amazing at Taka Beach. The water temperature was 16C. It was quite mild for winter."
The tour will cost each player about $5500.
To help fundraise for the two-week trip, which would include matches against high school and university development teams in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, the team would help clean up the local bays and beaches, Mr Taylor said.
A crowdfunding site has also been set up: www.westlakerugbyusa.weebly.com