On Saturday, nudists around the country set out to establish a Guinness World Record for the number of people simultaneously skinny-dipping. Some locals -- 800 alone from a group called South Florida Free Beaches that organized at Haulover Beach (see photo, above), plus 31 participants at the Seminole Health Club & Resort -- dutifully pitched in to help the cause. Carolyn Hawkins, public relations coordinator at the American Association for Nude Recreation, reports that "we're up to almost 12,000, but we don't have a complete tally because we still have some clubs that haven't reported their numbers yet."
Regardless, they will certainly capture the record because this is the first year the category is being established. "Guinness actually created category for us," Hawkins explains. She says that nudists' big annual event, Nude Recreation Week, July 6-11, didn't draw as much publicity this year as it usually does, because "nude recreation is becoming so mainstream." A volunteer marketing consultant named Randy Savage (not the wrestler) came up with the world record idea, and Guinness gamely accepted -- provided the nudists follow three rules: They must be in waist-deep water; they must have photo and video evidence; and they must be nude.
Ed Webb, a manager at the Seminole Health Club, reports: "We had mostly new people who came out. Everybody had to be in the water at 3 p.m. This being a nudist resort, everybody was naked, but there was the option to wear a bathing suit in the pool and lift it over your head at 3."
"One hundred and thirty-two clubs pulled together," Hawkins says. "This year, we set the record, and next year we plan on breaking it."