On Sunday last, September 9th, hundreds of women shed both their inhibitions and their clothes to take part in the Northeast charity skinny dip in aid of the oncology unit in Drogheda
The first North East charity dip took place in 2011 with only a few dippers braving the cold of the Irish Sea, it has now grown to a few hundred participants.
The dip provides a sense of joy and liberation, for everyone that takes part. According to one dipper “… it makes us realise our bodies are wonderful; too often we abuse them and don’t see the beauty.
“In the ocean everybody is equal. Proud bellies, mastectomy scars, cellulite, we’re all there. Skinny-dipping is the ultimate in life affirmation, so the Dip in the Nip lets us celebrate life in all its beauty”.
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Many of the participants had experienced cancer, either they’re own, or with somebody close. Some had lost loved ones and, indeed, some even joined while in treatment.”
Now in its’ seventh year, the event continues to go from strength to strength... and so do the donations, this year they seem likely to break the €50,000 mark.
Dip partners and lifelong supporters the Westcourt Hotel started the day off with glasses of bubbly, tea and coffees for all and there were novelty prizes for the best undressed ladies such as “the Flamingos”, “The Flower ladies”, “Jelly Tubbies”, “Cowgirls” and “Sprinkle Ladies”.
You may wonder what the judging criteria could possibly be for a best-dressed prize for a naked dip. Apparently it has something to do with body art, Twigs and hats.
Maybe it's best sometimes not to wonder. Either way, the winners were “Cruella de Ville and the 101 Dalmations.”
This year the judging was made even more difficult because Fuschia had kindly adorned all the dippers with amazing angel dust. (No mad cow jokes please!)
After the reception in the Westcourt Hotel, the few early risers in West Street were treated to the bizarre sight of 200 giggling women dressed in towels and dressing gowns heading down the street toward a fleet of Gerry Carroll and Matthews busses.
On arrival at the beach the ladies headed straight for the “wishing tree” to tie a special wish either for themselves or for a loved one, It’s a beautiful site.
Next up was some Zumba dancing with Banba to warm everyone up before they head to the sea. Gerry Kelly, with the aid of the coast guard’s megaphone, did the countdown, the lifeguards and the Red Cross stand guard and then with a 3,2,1 away they go heading for the water … splish, splash, shouting and screaming as the cold hits the bits.
A very special reward awaited the dippers as they emerged from the water; the Rumbles food truck was there with delicious hot food for everyone.
Then it was into the NEM Marquee, get dressed and back on the busses to Drogheda for the sweetest treat of all, coffee and buns in the Moorland Café!
It’s a good job the Moorland was opened specially for the Dippers because, well, let’s just say it was noisy!
If you’d like to join in the fun next year please get in touch with NECRET via their Facebook Page