An incredible highlight of the annual Dark Mofo festival is the Nude Winter Solstice Swim where hundreds of brave and ultimately unfeeling human beings fling their naked bodies into the icy waters of Hobart’s River Derwent.
As the sun rose over the glittering water, 1,537 beautiful bottoms braved the 14C waters smashing the record of most instantaneous f-bombs. There were screams, there were shrieks, but there was laughter. Swimmers wore nothing but red swimming caps and hastily returned to fire pits and towels on Sandy Bay’s shore.
Back in 2017, just over 1,000 hardcore people registered in the event. Organisers were confident a handful of people were going to flake and so ordered a fair few short of the numbers. In result, bottoms went bare on shore. This year, they over-ordered.
74-year-old Graeme Mineall, who has multiple sclerosis, told reporters the skinny dip had been on his bucket list. Mineall was helped into the water by his carers Sarah Franks and Angie Cassidy – they also made the (slow) dash into the waters.
“It’s just something I wanted to do, right back from the first one in 2013… It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. Was colder when I got out.”
The weather at this year’s event was a charming 7C.
The swim, which marks the daybreak after the shortest day of the year, filled social media feeds throughout the day so join me as we marvel at a bunch of people freezing their absolute tits off. And kudos to them for doing it.
A beautiful shot by festival organisers, MONA:
Waking up at the crack of dawn looks like it could be really worth it:
And to think police threatened to arrest participants for public indecency at the inaugural nudie swim back in 2013.
Yes to body positivity, yes to extreme bonding, yes to pretty sunrise – sign me up.