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What is the Marilyn Jetty Swim?

Established in 2014, the Marilyn Jetty Swim has become an iconic part of the Channel 7 Brighton Jetty Classic.

It sees more than 300 women (and a few men!) swimming or paddling 400 metres around the Brighton Jetty—all dressed head to toe as ‘50s icon Marilyn Monroe.

What started as a community fundraiser has now grown into one of Cancer Council SA’s most unique fundraising events.

Meet Sarah Tinney

Event founder Sarah Tinney first began fundraising for Cancer Council SA in 2006 when she found out that her mother, who lived in the US, was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She felt helpless because she was so far away, so fundraising was her way to support her from across the globe.

After her mum passed away in 2007, supporting people impacted by cancer became even more important, and this passion to give back is the driving force behind the Marilyn Jetty Swim.

The idea for the Swim started as a light-hearted conversation with some of the women at the Brighton Surf Lifesaving club, who suggested Sarah take part in the Brighton Jetty Classic, all in the name of fundraising.

Sarah agreed on two conditions—she’d make it comical by dressing like one of the most iconic women to grace our screens and be joined by lookalike decoys so people couldn’t identify her. A handshake sealed the deal and the Marilyn Jetty Swim was born. Nine years late, the event has raised more than $815,000 for South Australians impacted by cancer.

Hear from some Marilyn’s about why they swim – watch our short video:

Following the 2022 swim, the Marilyns were contacted by BBC’s Outlook Program in London, who wanted to profile the incredible Marilyn sisterhood on a global scale.

Sarah was interviewed for BBC Outlook about her motivation behind creating the swim, what inspires her year after year and of course, what it means to lead a sea of Marilyn’s around the Brighton Jetty!

Listen to the full interview below:

Listen to the BBC programme here

Watch the video here

 For more information on the Marilyn Jetty Swim visit