Six nudists to swim the Channel together

SIX BRITISH naturists will tomorrow emerge as nature intended from the chilly waters of the English Channel on to a beach near Calais, writes Mark Rowe.

The team of swimmers includes a doctor, a policeman, two schoolgirls and a female grave digger.

They will set off in the early hours of Monday morning from Shakespeare beach at Dover, swimming in relays of an hour each before reaching the coast somewhere near Calais 14 hours later, where they will all swim the final leg together. The naked swim is part of a summer "nude tolerance" campaign by British Naturism, the umbrella organisation for people who enjoy recreation without clothes.

"The main motivation is to try to put naturist sport on the general sporting map so that people will take naturism seriously rather than see it as a curious oddity," said Roger Johnson, one of the swimmers.

If completed, it will the first such Channel swim to succeed: hypothermia forced a group of teenagers to abort their attempt in the early 1970s.