Jet-ski ride raises $110,000 for char­ity

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PAUL

For Porirua res­i­dents Carl Lampe and Tracy Hawkins, there is noth­ing more Kiwi than charg­ing about on a jet ski – ex­cept for help­ing peo­ple, that is.

When it came to com­bin­ing the two, they jumped at the chance for last month’s high-paced six-day fundraiser for Me­lanoma New Zealand.

‘‘When New Zealand has one of the high­est rates of me­lanoma di­ag­noses in the world, it’s only right to help raise money,’’ Lampe said.

He and Hawkins took part in the 650km ride along with 30 other rid­ers to help raise $110,000 for the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s fourth fundraiser.

With hel­mets fas­tened, wet­suits rel­a­tively dry and jet­skis primed, the con­tin­gent took to the water on the south shore of Hokianga Har­bour with a nau­ti­cal head­ing of Ahipara.

The 55km was a cruise, but big swells made the run in­ter­est­ing, Lampe said.

They bat­tled the el­e­ments over the fol­low­ing five days as they made for Cape Reinga, North Cape, Paren­garenga Har­bour, Man­gonui, Rus­sell and Tu­tukaka.

For the Porirua pair, top­ping Cape Reinga on a clear day was ‘‘an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity, a once-in-a-blue-moon ex­pe­ri­ence’’.

A fundrais­ing auc­tion dur­ing the evening raised $23,095 in Rus­sell, and each rider raised a min­i­mum of $1500 help­ing to achieve $110,000, eas­ily top­ping last year’s tally of $56,000. ‘‘It was an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence. We got to see some iconic parts of the coun­try not a lot of peo­ple can claim to have seen,’’ Lampe said. ‘‘I’m not go­ing to lie though – I was feel­ing it when I got home.

‘‘But we’re hooked. We’ll be back again for next year’s event, which will take two weeks and is 1300km long.’’

New Zealand has the high­est rate of me­lanoma in the world and more than 4000 New Zealan­ders are di­ag­nosed with me­lanoma each year. It is es­ti­mated the skin dis­ease kills 300 New Zealan­ders an­nu­ally.

Al­though most melanomas oc­cur in peo­ple over 50, they can oc­cur at any age and even young chil­dren have been di­ag­nosed.

Me­lanoma New Zealand sup­ports peo­ple with me­lanoma and their fam­i­lies.

PHOTO: TRACY HAWKINS

The jet-skiers em­bark on their five-day ad­ven­ture.

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