Jet-ski ride raises $110,000 for charity
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.
The jet-skiers embark on their five-day adventure.