TALLINN: Over 500 swimmers swam in the near-freezing waters of Tallinn port in Estonia on Saturdy, taking part in a giant winter swimming relay in a country where the sport has been a popular way to counter the tedium of coronavirus restrictions. The 505 participants each swam the course of 25 metres (27 yards) marked out in a former submarine dockyard, taking 4 hours and 50 minutes to do so. The swimmers, many attired with funny hats, ranged from a 9-year old boy to an 83-year old woman, and included a pregnant woman who joked her effort should be counted for two. “It’s actually a smart thing to do at this moment”, Roy Vissers, one of the swimmers, said after emerging from the 4 Celsius (39.2 Fahrenheit) waters into the below-freezing air. He believed the sport provided good protection against COVID-19. Dozens of spectators cheered along the course, many from hot tubs and mobile saunas set up along the side. Aivar Tugedam, a winter swimming enthusiast who organized the event, said he had seen the sport grow in popularity since Estonia first went into a coronavirus lockdown in spring.