A TEAM of naked rowers are hoping to once again make a splash with their raunchy new calendar.
Warwick Rowers – who count Stephen Fry and Gok Wan among their fans – have stripped off once more and struck a pose to create their sixth calendar.
From a few hundred sales in its first year, the Warwick Rowers naked male calendar has become an international hit, with their 2013 offering selling out in days following unprecedented demand from more than 40 countries.
Earlier this year the athletes’ success across the pond was confirmed when their promotional tour of the US generated half a billion website views.
After the success of the tour they set out to create their best calendar yet and eight days shooting at locations across the UK – including at their boathouse in Barford – and in Spain.
A spokesman said: “We told people we were looking for new places to shoot and got these amazing offers of free locations. It was a lot of fun for us to be in these fantastic places – especially as we got to spend the whole time naked.
“Most importantly it means we have been able to step up our game in the calendar, just like we have in our boats.”
From very early on the rowers have been supported by the gay community, and to show their support, the rowers – who include both gay and straight athletes – have dedicated themselves to fight homophobic bullying in sport.
Since it began six years ago, the calendar has raised more than £300,000 for various charities, including £50,000 for Sport Allies – a charity standing up to homophobia in sport.
It has also turned Warwick University’s rowing club – which had previously suffered from underfunding – into one of the most competitive clubs in British university sport.
The spokesman said: “We are basically a fund-raising project. The money that comes in goes straight out again. We’re not sitting on some vast pile of cash. We need to pay for production of the next year’s calendars, films and everything else.
“Every summer we come up with great deals and unique offers which make it possible for us to cover our cost and send as much of our revenue as possible to where it is needed.”
Visit www.warwickrowers.org/crowdfunder to buy a copy or find out more.