The Courier-Mail

GOING THE DISTANCE

- anthony.marx@news.com.au WITH ANTHONY MARX @AnthonyMar­xCM

Money man Mark Sowerby had a few tips from an Olympian before his English Channel swim.

CHANNEL CROSSING

BRISBANE money man

Mark Sowerby (illustrate­d) has just joined that elite group who can say they have swum across the English Channel.

The Blue Sky Alternativ­e Investment­s boss managed the impressive feat this week, clocking in at 14 hours and 24 minutes.

More importantl­y, he raised nearly $750,000 for the Starlight Foundation to help them build a special activities centre at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

Sowerby, whose firm has more than $1 billion in assets under management, trained hard for the event for the past two years in pools across Brisbane and around the world.

Logging on more than 1350km going up and down the lanes, he even managed to get a few pointers from Olympic champion Michael

Klim at one point. To survive the frigid Channel waters, Sowerby had to tack on a few extra kilos to give him an insulating layer of fat.

Hand fulls of chocolate macadamias helped do the trick.

IT’S A BLOKE THING

SPEAKING of raising money for a good cause,

country legend Lee Kernaghan and celebrity chef Matt Golinski parachuted in to Toowoomba yesterday to help battle prostate cancer.

They were among the star attraction­s at Qantas Link’s It’s A Bloke Thing very long lunch, which attracted a 450-strong crowd at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport.

Billed as Australia’s most successful fundraisin­g lunch, the event managed to raise $1.13 million on the day to help a raft of hospitals and research centres.

Kernaghan played a few songs and later auctioned off his guitar for $11,500, while Golinski stepped up as guest speaker to sing the virtues of the slow food movement.

But he didn’t have time to cook so fellow celebrity chef

Alistair McLeod took charge in the kitchen.

John Wagner, wealthy patriarch of the Wagner Group constructi­on mob which built the airport, launched the initiative in 2011 with fellow bizzoids Gary Gardner, John Fitzgibbon­s and Mark Crampton.

They had already raised more than $2 million before yesterday’s shindig.

For Wagner, the fight is personal since he battled prostate cancer and won.

“I feel fantastic and life goes on,” he said.

RAY SMITH’S BIG BASH

Ray

LABOR Party stalwart

Smith turned the big five-O in style last Friday with a few hundred of his closest mates in Brisbane. In an unusual twist, the Cutting Edge boss held the Great

Gatsby- themed shindig in conjunctio­n with his daughter, Emma, who was turning 21 and requested the joint bash.

That, of course, raised the tricky question for the band of how to bridge the musical generation gap for the throng gathered at the Toowong Rowing Club.

Anyway, Ray, who made a vain attempt to beat

Graham Quirk as lord mayor in 2012, was joined by plenty of union figures and Labor identities, including former premier Peter

Beattie.

For some curious reason, Beattie rocked up minus a costume.

RELIEF NEEDED

HERE’S one straight from the Department of You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.

North Queensland mob KFSU is an ingredient supply company flogging sugarcane-derived products for a variety of uses, including keeping hamburgers fresh and relieving constipati­on. You read that correctly.

Anyway, boss

Gordon Edwards was in Brisbane recently at the Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce talking up the surprising ease of exporting to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Indeed, he said clearing the registry hurdles in Japan was easier than in the US.

That made us wonder whether our Asian neighbours are in more dire need of a bit of relief.

BUM STEER

CITY Beat got a bum tip and reported on July 23 that Azentro chairman

Bob Bishop had just stepped down as president of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce. In fact, Bishop remains in the position he has held for 15 years.

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