DUBLIN (Reuters) – Thousands of Irish women shed their inhibitions and their clothes on a secluded beach fifty kilometers south of Dublin on Saturday for a world-record setting “skinny dip” to raise funds for a children’s cancer charity.
Lucia Sinigagliesi, the Guinness World Records official that adjudicated the naked swim, said that 2505 women spent at least five minutes in the sea to set a new world record.
The previous record was set in Western Australia in 2015 when 786 participants swam naked to promote a positive body image near the regional capital Perth, in waters that are usually around 23 degrees centigrade at that time of year.
On Saturday, the sea temperature off Magheramore beach, where the Irish swim was held, was a bracing 12 degrees, despite a recent spell of warm weather.
The swim has been an annual event since it was started by Dubliner Dee Featherstone in 2013, just weeks after her own mastectomy. The events have raised more than 153,000 euro, not including what will be raised this year.
“Oh my god it was amazing. I have never been naked in front of anybody before, except my husband, and it was brilliant and bracing. It was great craic,” Deirdre Betson from Dunboyne told a Reuters reporter after leaving the water.
“We are all different shapes and sizes and ages and it was just super.”
This year the money raised will go to Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, a charity set up in 2010 by Mick Rochford and Jimmy Norman, after Jimmy’s daughter Aoibheann died from cancer aged 8 years.
“Aoibheann went to school with my daughter. She would have been seventeen this year. We did it in her memory,” said Betson.
Reporting by Clodagh Kilcoyne, writing by Graham Fahy