Gutsy Swimmers brave cold for cancer

Mar 9, 2015


Literary agent Pippa Vaughan decided to take on a daring gutsy challenge: a nude swim in the ocean to raise money for the GI Cancer Institute  and increase awareness of gastro-intestinal cancers. Accompanied by the four women in her book club, she participated in the Sydney Skinny, a nude short 900m swim, in memory of her late father who passed away from stomach cancer in August 2013. For the third year running, the Sydney Skinny took place in the sheltered waters of Cobblers Beach, Middle Head, with its aim to “make the world a slightly nicer place – one swimmer at a time”.

Pippa chose to raise funds for the GI Cancer Institute because “any charity dealing with gastro-intestinal cancers is close to my heart, especially as I don’t think they often get a lot of public recognition in the way some other cancers do.”

Although she has never swum competitively, Pippa has always loved swimming in the ocean. However, swimming naked in front of a large crowd of people was a totally new and slightly nerve-wracking experience: “I had many concerns, mostly about getting naked in front of thousands of other people… but things like sharks crossed my mind too,” Pippa said.

Swimming as a team made a huge difference to the group, as they were able to egg each other on and provide mutual support: “I think it’d be pretty tough doing a naked swim on your own!” says Pippa.

Her supportive friends and family helped her achieve the challenge of completing the nude swim: “Most people thought we were the perfect mix of crazy and brave. Everyone has been very supportive, mostly because we were raising funds for a very deserving charity,” Pippa said.

The swim was a way for Pippa and her friends to give back to the community and those living with GI cancer. “I know how hard it is. Watching my father struggle to eat was devastating – and it was so crushing to see him in so much pain. I do hope that other people and their families living with this insidious disease are able to benefit in some small way from our nakedness!”

To show how gutsy you are and to take on a challenge like Pippa did, call Anne on 02 8036 5220 or visit