The fourth annual waterskiing marathon will be held next Saturday on Chaffey Dam, with about 30 skiers expected to take to the water.
Organising spokesman Tony Percival says the marathon fundraiser will chalk up about 450 kilometres as he steers his boat backwards and forwards across the dam’s eight-knot water zone.
The marathon will see skis, kneeboards, wakeboards, ski biscuits and mostly anything else that can float with a body on it used in a relay event to raise funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
The marathon has gained a special licence to operate in the zone from 6.30am to 6.30pm next Saturday – and they’ll rip into the water, intent on clocking up the miles and the sponsorship money.
The skiers will each get two runs of 25 minutes and will take to the water after having worked up sponsor dollars.
The previous three Chaffey skiing marathons have raised more than $30,000 for the rescue service and are unique in chopper fundraising history, as the only ones where people walk on water to raise money to keep the chopper in the air.
Percival reckons he will be at the helm for the full shift and he’s hoping to attract plenty of others to join him. He says the marathon was originally conceived from his love of skiing and his sporting achievements as a barefoot bloke who went on to tow Aussie and state champions to victory.
He says it’s a perfect and playful way for younger people to be involved in a fundraising pastime they can also perfect their skills at.
But he admits there’s no age barrier, because some participants have been 60, too.
Rescue service co-ordinator Barry Walton, who is much more at home riding a bike, also took part last year, braving his body on a ski biscuit to raise a personal tally of $2000.
This year, one of the helicopter service’s pilots will also make waves when he takes to the water for a couple of runs.
If you want to take part or sponsor somebody else to, ring Jan Percival on ph 6769 5552 to register.