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Rhossili midsummer skinny dip organisers claim record

image captionAlmost 400 skinny dippers rushed into the sea at Rhossili on Gower on Sunday morning.

Organisers of a mass skinny dip on a Gower beach have claimed a new world record after hundreds of naked swimmers took to the sea.

Almost 400 people took part in the Midsummer Skinny Dip at Rhossili.

They wanted to break the current record of 250, and raised £12,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the National Trust.

"It was fantastic, people are already talking about doing it again next year," said organiser Alison Powell.

A National Trust spokeswoman said the new world record for skinny dipping was set on Rhossili Beach on the Gower Peninsula at around 0830 BST on Sunday.

To break the record the swimmers had to stay in the sea for 10 minutes.

"There was something absolutely surreal about being on a beach with 400 naked bodies," said Ms Powell, a 35-year-old online editor. "It's not a sight you see very often."

"The weather was nice, just a bit overcast, but the sea temperature wasn't really cold at all. It was just so exhilarating."

Ms Powell said she had the idea when an invitation to friends to skinny dip in November was met by a chilly response but there was enthusiasm for a stripped-off summer swim.

"There was a lot of enthusiasm through Facebook so we decided to go for the record and raise some funds while we were at it," she explained.

'Late entries'

She said she had been initially happy to look for just 251 volunteers in order to break the record but received 400 applications to take part.

"We knew 400 was the most we could safely deal with," she said. "We didn't have anybody drop out but we did have one or two late entries - people who came along to steward and then decided to get naked and went in with us."

Ms Powell revealed that a broken megaphone had not helped with the logistics of the attempt but after warming up with star jumps and a Mexican wave, volunteers raced down the beach and into the waves.

"There was a great big cheer and we all just went for it," said Ms Powell.

She added that she chose Rhossili because of its relative seclusion in order to spare the blushes of early morning walkers.

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