It is not the first time Coast Tauranga Breakfast show host Brian Kelly (BK) has tried to take his clothes off on our Bay beaches for a good cause.
Kelly is taking part in Nude Dude Swim for Breast Cancer on March 20. He joins a group of brave local men and women who will bare all and take on a 100 metre ocean swim adventure in support of the Breast Cancer Support Service Tauranga Trust.
There are still spaces on the swim for those who would like to register to join in, or make a donation to the skinny dippers.
The Nude Dude Swim, now in its second year, aims to raise $10,000 or more for the service, which supports women and men in the Bay and their families who are affected by breast cancer. The service receives no government funding.
It is a cause close to Kelly's heart.
"Having lost my mother and mother-in-law to breast cancer I really want to support a local Tauranga/Bay of Plenty organisation that helps people going through breast cancer."
Kelly tried to organise a similar event back in 2000 — a nude surfing competition — and still has the Bay of Plenty Times front page promoting the event.
Despite getting several entries, it did not go ahead, and Kelly recalls a bit of a "hooha" about the situation.
"Some people got quite heated up about it, even though it was a fundraiser."
Nineteen years on Kelly thinks the times, they are a changing.
"I don't think the Bay was quite ready for it in 2000. Now I think there is a lot more of a relaxed attitude to these things. We are letting it all hang out a bit more, getting back to that 70s vibe almost — and who can argue with a cause that everyone can relate to, as we all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer," he says.
Participants have to be over 18 and register, and then they go to the water's edge with a pink sarong before disrobing for the swim.
Kelly thought people would find it all in good taste.
"It is not a spectator sport. I like that it is held in a secret location. It's tasteful, harmless fun for a fantastic cause."
Despite feeling relaxed about taking off his clothes, Kelly said he was not a strong ocean swimmer but would like to be. He hoped the temperature would be warm.
Helen Alice, service manager for Breast Cancer Support Service Tauranga, is putting the event on for the second year in the Bay.
She said the swim had significance beyond the money it would raise, that it was an event symbolising 'empowerment', inspiring people to celebrate their bodies and be confident no matter our size, gender, age, shape or scars. This could apply to breast cancer sufferers and survivors or simply anyone, she said.
"Swimming with no clothes on is about challenging yourself to step outside your comfort zone, which can be hugely liberating. For some people, the challenge is that the swim is in the nude but for others, it is the swim itself."
Alice came up with the idea of organising a nude swim as a fundraiser last year after being inspired by the Sydney Skinny Ocean Swim.
For this year's event, swimmers need to register, then raise funds through individual or team sponsorship to participate. On the day, only the swimmers, volunteers, and lifeguards from the Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club will be present. The exact location will be revealed a day or two before the swim.
Last year's Nude Dude Swim raised more than $8000 but Alice says they want to top that this year. The organisation's other fundraisers, such as the Papamoa Hills Night Walk in June and the Legacy Lunch at Mills Reef in August, are gaining in popularity. Breast Cancer Support's best known fundraiser is the annual Hot Pink Walk, which attracted record crowds on October 10 last year.
About Brian Kelly
Kelly has been Coast FM breakfast announcer for the last seven years in the Bay of Plenty and prior to that was the Classic Hits Breakfast announcer in the Bay. He is also the voice of New Zealand Motorsport, covering national and international events in New Zealand for the past 40 years.
Last year Kelly was named a life member of the New Zealand Sports Journalism Awards during the Sir Terry McLean National Sports Journalism Awards in Auckland in December.
Kelly writes a weekly music column, The Vinyl Word, for Vibe entertainment magazine in Thursday's Bay of Plenty Times. He also is a regular restaurant reviewer for the Bay Bites pages in indulge.
• Participants are welcome to register to become a Nude Dude, either as an individual or in a team of up to four swimmers. You'll have to be 18 or older, and be ready to take the plunge without togs or clothes at high tide on the evening of Wednesday, March 20. Your fundraising will happen via a Givealittle page. Registrations open at nudedude.org.nz.
• Profiles of the participants can be found on givealittle.