Marilyn Jetty Swimmers Return to Adelaide

Despite overcast weather and with social distancing guidelines in place, this year’s Marilyn Jetty Swim has gone ahead at Brighton Beach in Adelaide, Australia, ABC News reports.

“Marilyn Monroe was known for her glamour and grace, and more than 300 lookalikes have done their very best to live up to her standards during an annual fundraiser at an Adelaide beach. Donning white dresses, bathers, sunglasses and blonde wigs, dozens of people impersonating the American screen idol paraded down Jetty Road at Brighton, before venturing onto the beach and into the water.

The Marilyn Jetty Swim is now in its eighth year and has gone from strength to strength since 2014, with this year’s total number of participants easily exceeding last year’s record-breaking tally. Event founder Sarah Tinney said more than $145,000 had been raised in the past 12 months alone.

‘We normally have a whole team of make-up artists, and we won’t be able to have that this year, so we won’t be able to help women get their wigs on and men get their wigs on,’ Ms Tinney said before the event. ‘All the Marilyns have to keep their swim rings around their waist at all times to help with the social distancing, so even when we’re marching we can’t really bump into each other because we’re going to have the inflatable devices around us.’

The event is staged as part of the Brighton Jetty Classic open water swimming contest. Jetty Road was closed this morning as the Marilyns, including several holding a banner bearing the words ‘blondes have more fun’, made their way to the water. ‘I wouldn’t call it a swim, I’d call it more of a glamorous paddle,’ Ms Tinney said.

While the event remained an overwhelmingly female affair, more than a dozen men — included some sporting beards — were among those on the foreshore. ‘We have male-lyns this year as well, and we all get together to raise money for Cancer Council SA,’ Ms Tinney said. ‘We have about 15 men, very brave men, that are swimming this year. We decided about three years ago to open it up to men because we always had the husbands asking.'”