Waterski marathon returns to Chaffey Dam to raise funds for Westpac Rescue Helicopter

A POPULAR marathon of a different kind is set to make a splash this weekend near Tamworth, after a dry spell.

Falling water levels and the drought have been the catalyst in years gone by to cancel the waterski marathon at Chaffey Dam. But not this year.

The fundraiser, in aide of the Westpac Rescue Chopper, will have locals and water enthusiasts walking on water for 12 hours on Saturday.

Attunga’s Tony Percival was the driving force behind the inaugural marathon and will again take the wheel of the boat.

“I just wanted to help a charity when we started back in 2010 and I picked the Westpac helicopter because everyone knows someone who has needed it and at some stage, you just don't know when you're going to need it,” he said.

As part of the event, the first boat will roar off across the dam at 6.30am on Saturday to start, and continue until dusk.

Water babies: From left, Mykenzie Semple, Talani Smith and Molly Smith took part in the special waterskiing marathon for charity at Chaffey Dam in 2012.

Water babies: From left, Mykenzie Semple, Talani Smith and Molly Smith took part in the special waterskiing marathon for charity at Chaffey Dam in 2012.

More than 35 waterskiers are registered to take part in the day, the youngest about five right through to people in their sixties, from the North West, as well as the Hunter.

It’ll continue until dusk, with the relay marathon allowing skiers to whip around the dam in continuous 25-minute runs.

I'll be driving the boat all day and I will travel somewhere in the vicinity of 500-600km for the day.

Organiser Tony Percival

“The skiers will travel about 50km in their two runs,” Mr Percival said.

“I'll be driving the boat all day and I will travel somewhere in the vicinity of 500-600km for the day.”

Organisers are still on the hunt for donations for the event which hasn’t been held since 2013.

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