South West Wales

Nudes wanted for skinny dip record at Rhossili, Gower

Rhossili beach, Gower
Image caption Rhossili Bay is five miles long, and the beach has been voted the best in the UK

Naked swimmers are being urged to join an early morning attempt on the world skinny dipping record.

Organisers hope 300 hardy souls will strip off at Rhossili on Gower at 0700 BST on Sunday, 19 June.

The Midsummer Skinny Dip aims to break the record of 250 taking the unpeeled plunge and raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the National Trust.

Organiser Alison Powell, originally from Blackwood, in Caerphilly county, said many had already pledged to join.

She said she chose the National Trust-owned Rhossili because it was so long and reasonably well hidden.

An early start has also been picked to discourage "rubber-neckers" from turning up.

"And also because some people might object to seeing lots of naked bodies on a beach," said Ms Powell, aged 35, an online publishing editor who now lives in Bristol.

"We thought if we do it early, we know we've got people who are really committed, who are really up for it, and there for the right reasons."

She has never skinny dipped and had the idea after unsuccessfully trying to persuade friends to go with her after work in the rather less appealing month of November.

Up to their waists

"Some of them said they would do it if they had a bit more time. Some of them said they would do it if they had a better reason. So I thought 'well I'll make that happen'."

"There's been lots of enthusiasm," she said. "We've got people signing up from all over the country.

Image caption Any sheep at Rhossili beach early on 19 June will face an unusual and unclothed spectacle

"Lots of people are going to stay over on the Saturday night, so we'll probably have a little get-together to say hello and then hopefully we'll hit our 300."

She has also chosen a lovely spot: in a 2010 poll Rhossili was voted the UK's best beach and earlier this year was named the top picnic spot in Britain by a team of travel writers.

She hopes they will all form a line and run in together. To break the record, everyone has to be in the sea for 10 minutes.

There is also a role for anyone who wants to help, but does not fancy getting down to their bare essentials.

"We have to have everybody in the water up to their waists at the same time, and because it's an event with less than 1,000 people we have to have stewards counting them in," said Ms Powell.

"We do need a few more volunteers for stewards as well actually, so if there are people who would like to get involved but don't want to get naked, they can get in touch as well."

She laughed that the temperature of the water was "all in the mind".

"That's the joy of skinny dipping - run in there, get the adrenaline rush and then come back out".

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