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Nigel Marsh’s Sydney Skinny returns, aim to make it next City to Surf

sydney-skinny-event-logoNigel Marsh’s nude ocean swim ‘Sydney Skinny’ will be back in February, with the adman turned author hoping to build on this year’s success and make it the next City to Surf. 

This year’s inaugural event in February saw a turnout of around 1,000 people swimming in the nude, and raised over $15,000 for the Foundation of NSW National Parks and Wildlife.

Marsh, who took over as head of The Leading Edge last month, told Mumbrella: “It’s not actually about nudity or swimming. It’s a safe, loving, fun, fundraising, community way of safely stepping outside your comfort zone and having a blast in one of the most beautiful places in the world and raising money to keep the harbour beautiful.

“There’s a place on the calendar for one of these. It’s a very, very safe way of being adventurous.”

The 2014 Sydney Skinny swim will be held at Cobblers Beach, Middle Head, Sydney Harbour National Park on the 23rd of February. The event will host two distances – a 900m swim around the diamond shaped course in Middle Head and a shorter “nudie novice swim” of 300m to a point in the centre of the Sydney Skinny course and back.

“Year two is just about trying to do it bigger and better,” said Marsh. “I’d like to double the amount of people doing it and double the amount of money raised for the national park.

“There was 1,000 people who did it last year and I guarantee every single one of them felt better about themselves when they came out of the water and the world didn’t stop spinning because they were naked for half a second. Nobody stared, pointed or laughed, it’s just a very liberating experience.”

The event has seen “pent up demand”, Marsh said, with enquires coming from as far as Japan and America.

Swimmers pay $35 to participate while supporters are welcome into the festival area free of charge. This will host various different stalls, food and activities. The Sydney Skinny only allows swimmers on the beach, however if a supporter changes their mind and wishes to participate tickets will be available on the day for $40.

“People can access the swim in a whole host of different ways, so you can do it because you want to raise money, you can do it because you like ocean swimming, or you can do it because it’s a starter ocean swim,” Marsh said.

“Year one was just beyond my wildest dreams on every criteria. Not only did we manage to raise money for charity, I thought we’d make a thumping great loss and we actually managed to get a wonderful corporate sponsor in nudie; we had more people than we thought we’d have and everyone had a wonderful day and year 2 is about building on that success,” said Marsh.

Juice brand Nudie has signed up to sponsor the event once again along with new sponsor Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider.

Marsh is the former boss of Y&R and also the author of Fat, Forty and Fired, a book about his experiences of finding himself out of a job.

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