Are you ready, set, Jet Trek

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THERE was a lot of ac­tiv­ity on the wa­ters of Port Dou­glas over the week­end when 60 jet­skis came to town, fol­lowed closely by their road crew on the Cook­town and Down Yamaha Va­ri­ety Jet Trek.

For the past 16 years, Va­ri­ety has staged the Jet Trek to help raise money and aware­ness for their char­ity, help­ing Queens­land kids in need.

The 140 par­tic­i­pants stayed the night in Port Dou­glas, de­layed by the strong wind con­di­tions from Cy­clone Zane form­ing out to sea, so ev­ery­one was keen to hit the wa­ters head­ing south on Mon­day morn­ing.

Par­tic­i­pant An­drew Por­tolesi, from Syd­ney, has been tak­ing part for four years and is so in­volved he got en­gaged and mar­ried to his wife Sharon while on the Jet Trek.

‘‘ Last year the trip fell on Vale­tine’s Day and I pro­posed to Sharon, the next day was a layabout day so we went on a he­li­copter ride to Strad­broke Is­land, it was re­ally spe­cial,’’ he said.

‘‘We got mar­ried last Fri­day, I thought why not kill two birds with one stone and semi-elope on the trip.’’

Mr Por­tolesi said he signed up for the Va­ri­ety event be­cause of his pas­sion for jet skis and de­sire to help peo­ple out in need.

‘‘To help chil­dren who can’t physi- cally help them­selves, that’s the fun­da­men­tal rea­son why I joined the char­ity,’’ he said.

‘‘We put our bod­ies and skis through some gru­elling con­di­tions, al­though we do have fun, ev­ery­thing makes it worth­while when we see what Va­ri­ety does.’’

Va­ri­ety Mo­tor­ing Events co­or­di­na­tor Erin Tay­lor said the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants has been great with more than dou­ble the num­ber from last year.

‘‘As much as ev­ery­one here is hav­ing a fab­u­lous hol­i­day, they have been fundrais­ing all year for this end re­sult and they are here for the kids,’’ she said.

‘‘Along the way we try to pos­i­tively im­pact on towns and com­mu­ni­ties, in­te­grat­ing fun with phi­lan­thropy.’’

The trek will fin­ish in Townsville to­mor­row.

Pic­ture: ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

READY TO RIDE:

Cook­town and Down Jet Trek per­tic­i­pants in Port Dou­glas

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