Way back in December, we checked out an event that had us intrigued for a multitude of reasons. Swimming in the Bristol channel? In November?! Topless?!?! Who were these crazy people? We went to find out.

Tits to the Wind is the brainchild of open water swimmers Becca, Becs and Laura. The initial aim was to raise some good ol’ dosh for Mind and Coppafeel. What was intended as a quick birthday, quickly went global, with other open water swimmers posting pics of their freezing knockers from St Ives to North Wales and even Canada.

Undeterred by the zero degrees on the thermometer and the torrential rain, more people than I could count gathered on the beach beneath Clevedon Pier. Wrapped in heavy swimming jackets and armed with flasks of tea, the atmosphere was significantly more jovial than I had expected. Not one person was complaining, not a single word of annoyance or unease was uttered. “It’s bloody freezing!” was shouted more as a greeting than a warning, if anything, it made the day even more exciting.

£1200 in the charity pot later, Tits to the Wind got its own Instagram account with people from all over the world, all ages, shapes and sizes, regularly bearing their chests to raise awareness of mental illnesses and promote body positivity. Besides that staggering amount of money, what is most amazing about this event, is the incredible response from the open water community. Did you even know there was an open water swimming community? There is, and it’s huge, inclusive and incredibly supportive.

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