When you do the research we're incredibly lucky

Ski4Kids will be raising money for cancer and giving competitors the ultimate challenge
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The thing makes living both electrifying and terrifying is the fact that you never really know, 100%, where life’s twists and turns will take you.

Like the Mary Celeste, an unmanned ship on an endless ocean, fate guides your financial, health and family circumstances with reckless abandon. You can be proverbially cruising one minute then dragging anchor on a lee shore the next.

I say this because, after 30 joyous years in boating and newspaper journalism, my own career took an unexpected tack exactly a year ago and I found myself working for a medical research institute ... while keeping my hand in with PowerBoat-World.com obviously.

If nothing else it showed me how damn good we have it. As boaties, our primary concern is what direction the wind is blowing, when is low tide, and will the pub still be open when we hit port.

There’s a surprising symmetry between the two, though. Boaties are out in the sun, making them melanoma candidates. Those big-bellied buggers you see at the ramp are walking diabetes or cardiovascular advertisements.

We’re all pretty well off. In fact we probably spend more money on beer and bait than the total food bill for an African nation. So, how can we leverage our boating activities into bucks for medical research?

Here’s an idea we prepared earlier … the world’s longest and toughest waterskiing endurance event, Ski 4 Kids, is being run on Sunday (June 17) to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Participants ski from Sydney Harbour to the finish line on Newcastle Harbour – a distance of 120km across open waters and a duration of between 90 minutes and two hours.

Electrical retailer Glenn Geary (The Good Guys Kotara), along with fellow skier Scott Curtis, founded the event in 2009. Where it began with just one starter, last year the event attracted 15 other boats and crews, each paying an entry fee. This weekend, organisers are hoping for 20 boats, competing in one-up and team divisions.

Geary said the best skiers, being super fit, could ski the 120 kilometres by themselves, whereas others were more confident taking it in turns.

‘I have found that you go through different stages of pain during the race. The water is cold and you get fatigued – your arms go, then your back goes, and by the end you are just hanging on,’ he said.

Sydney’s Sarah Eagle, younger sister of TV personality Lauren, will be skiing, along with Junior Female Skier of the Year, Shantelle King, 14.

They're hoping to raise around $10,000 from Ski 4 Kids, including proceeds from a raffle and auction. Funds will support researchers in their quest to cure acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the most common type of childhood cancer.

‘Rather than give a cash donation I wanted to get involved,’ Geary said. 'When you visit an oncology ward it’s very upsetting to see the children. Anything we can do for them is time well spent.’

Ski4kidslogo
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However if you can't be involved you can do just that

You can make a donation here