With Summer just weeks away, Australian neurosurgeon Charlie Teo has joined author and TED speaker Nigel Marsh to encourage Aussies to step out of their comfort zone and strip down for the fifth annual Sydney Skinny. Presented by nudie, the Sydney Skinny is Australia's most exhilarating and fastest growing swim event held on Sunday, 19 March 2017 on Sydney's spectacular foreshore.
Entries are now open for the nude ocean event's two swim courses - the 900m and 300m - which are both untimed and suitable for people of all swimming abilities.
The Sydney Skinny is a life affirming and uplifting event which celebrates the good things - courage, acceptance, community, charity and the beautiful Sydney Harbour. The event encourages participants to practice gratitude, adopt a healthy body image and support those around them. Many participants use it as a line in the sand each year to introduce a positive change into their lives.
Clothes, constraints and inhibitions are left on the sand as thousands of people challenge themselves to the invigorating experience. Diving off Cobbler's Beach, Middle Head, participants are protected by the privacy and stunning surrounds of Sydney Harbour National Park and of course the iconic Sydney Skinny Sarongs given to each swimmer as they leave the water.
Participating in his second Sydney Skinny, esteemed neurosurgeon Professor Charlie Teo, has this year joined the event as a charity partner, with the opportunity for participants to raise money for his charity, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (recently voted Charity of the Year 2016 by The Australian Business Awards).
Professior Teo said: 'I like getting out of my comfort zone and getting naked in front of 1000 other Sydney-siders certainly puts you in a place that is unfamiliar, daunting, challenging and confronting! I also encourage, or rather, insist, my staff participate because a team that swims naked together, stays together. So to all those people out there who have employers who think they're a little above you at times, get them to the Sydney Skinny as a team-building exercise. It's so much fun!'
'I'm very proud to announce Cure Brain Cancer Foundation as one of the Sydney Skinny's designated charities for 2017. It's a great cause that is in need of funds to help accelerate the discovery of treatments for the deadliest form of cancer and the one disease that kills more children cancer get back into one," Teo said.
Those looking to enter are encouraged to book early to secure the group or -wave' of their choice. The event is not a race, with small groups of participants entering the water at different stages throughout the day in a spectator-free and secluded environment.
The Sydney Skinny aims to raise money for a number of Australian charities and causes, including event partner Charlie Teo's Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and the Foundation of National Parks and Wildlife. Sponsorship partner Nudie Foods are also celebrating five years of supporting the event, with the 2017 design of the famous Nudie Foods sarong to be released in the coming months.
While the swim is reserved for adults only, families and kids are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the food on offer and free music at the specially designated event picnic area in the National Park. For more information and to register for The Sydney Skinny, visit www.thesydneyskinny.com.au.
The Sydney Skinny Ocean Swim
Key events: The Sydney Skinny, 900m / nudie novice, 300m
Event date: Sunday, 19 March, 2017
Start time: Registration starts at 8am / First swim wave is 9am / Final swim wave is 12:30pm
Where: Cobblers Beach, Middle Head, Sydney Harbour National Park
Tickets: Register online at thesydneyskinny.com.au
Question: What is the Sydney Skinny?
Di Westaway: A scary adventure in nature where you face your greatest fear by stripping naked in front of strangers at a gorgeous secret beach for a delicious swim. Once you've dropped your dacks, the rest is pure pleasure.
Question: Why are you participating in the 2017 Sydney Skinny?
Di Westaway: Because I like to scare myself silly regularly. I love the natural exhilaration that comes from facing fear and doing it anyway.
Question: What do you hope to achieve with the 2017 Sydney Skinny?
Di Westaway: I'm doing it with a bunch of my friends and clients because there's safety in numbers. My clients are so excited they want to write WILD WOMEN ON TOP on their bottoms with Rok tape, one letter on each bum cheek, to show that its fun going wild with friends in nature.
Question: What are you raising funds for with the 2017 Sydney Skinny?
Di Westaway: I'm not raising funds this year because I spend my working life raising funds for charities and I need to give my friends a break.
Question: What message do you hope to spread with the Sydney Skinny?
Di Westaway: That when you step outside your comfort zone, magic happens and that doing scary things with your friends is exhilarating.
Question: Have you completed the Sydney Skinny before? If so what should participants expect from the Sydney Skinny?
Di Westaway: Yes. Its awesome. Very beautiful atmosphere, like the beach on a tropical island. Its very calm, relaxing, with clever logistics so that you don't feel like there's many people doing it. Then you find out there's thousands and you wonder where they all are. Its very discreet.
Question: Can you tell us about Wild Women on Top?
Di Westaway: Wild Women On Top create life changing trekking adventures to get women walking with friends in nature. We run Coastrek, which is a 30-60km team trekking challenge along a stunning Australian coast and also help women prepare for world class treks. www.wildwomenontop.com
Interview by Brooke Hunter