It’s was a hot and sunny Sunday in Vancouver, but a full moon — or rather, hundreds of them — were on display at Wreck Beach.
Nude bodies are nothing new at Vancouver’s world-famous clothing optional beach, but this weekend the numbers were higher than usual.
LISTEN: Wreck Beach stripping down for a world record
Unfortunately, they didn’t quite make it.
The current Guinness World Record for largest simultaneous skinny-dip — 2506 people — was just set in June by an Irish group raising money to fight breast cancer.
Wreck Beach Preservation Society chair Judy Williams told Global News that somewhere between 700 and 800 people turned out.
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The group will snapped a massive photo of the nude crowd in the water, which will be printed into posters and postcards as a fundraiser for the society’s work. Donors have also pledged to give the society $10 for every naked body.
Williams said that funding is crucial to the group’s mandate of keeping the beach natural. She said since 1974 the society has blocked a ferry terminal, a seawall, a bridge from Richmond and an artificial island.
“You name it, we’ve stopped it,” she said.
“One gentleman from city council wanted to take all of the dregs from building the [Canada Line] and build an island in front of trail six and put high rises on it. That will never happen as long as I have a naked quivering body.
Williams said keeping the beach the way it is comes with big positive spinoffs for local residents. She said tourism related to beach-goers contributes $60 million to the local economy annually, and that more than half of visitors to Pacific Spirit Park’s foreshore are headed to Wreck.
“We have one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We stand in the top 10 naturist beaches, or beautiful beaches anywhere in the world according to one Playboy survey that was done.”
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As for the potential of the Irish skinny-dippers losing their crown so soon, Williams said she’s not worried about ruffling any feathers.
“Who cares whether they’re mad or not,” she said.
“Each event has its own energy and its own beauty, and I’m sure that they would like to share that. It was for a worthy cause, for breast cancer — [this is] for a worthy cause to protect Wreck Beach.”
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