NZ Jet ski marathon for cancer

READY FOR ACTION: Grant Nicholson (from left) Gisborne couple Richard and Laura Cook and former Gisborne man Russell Bailey haver their jet skis behind then and are ready for the 2017 New Zealand Ski-Max fundraiser tour for Melanoma New Zealand. The group are seeking public support. Picture supplied

GISBORNE couple and adrenaline junkies Richard and Laura Cook are off on another jet ski tour of the country to raise funds for Melanoma New Zealand.

This time they will make their way from Invercargill, starting March 3, and are scheduled to finish 1400 kilometres later in Auckland on March 18.

Their team includes ex-Gisborne man Russell Bailey and Grant Nicholson, and they are among 18 jet ski riders on the 2017 Yamaha Melanoma New Zealand Ski-Max fundraiser.

The couple are regulars oin the event, which has raised $300,000 over the previous four years. The 2015 event came to Gisborne.

This year’s event starts in Invercargill and travelling via a detour to Stewart Island, comes up the East Coast of the South Island before moving to the West Coast of the North Island from Wellington.

The itinerary includes stopovers in Balclutha, Dunedin, Akaroa, Paraparaumu, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Raglan and Whanganui.

Laura told the Herald that New Zealand had the highest rate of melanoma in the world, and some members of her family had fought the disease.

Melanoma New Zealand said around 300 New Zealanders died each year from the skin cancer. The tragedy is that with early detection, 90 percent of those New Zealanders could have been saved.

Laura was excited about the Stewart Island to Auckland route.

“The challenge is huge. This is going to be a massive effort, but it is all for a fantastic cause.

“But we need the help of the public to make this event successful. Without public sponsorship/donations it will be impossible.

“Last year the event headed up north and right around the cape. This was a fantastic adventure and a massive success for Melanoma New Zealand.

“We had a huge amount of support from people along the way and hope to get the same response this year.”

Laura and Richard have a Givealittle page. Donations are fully deductable and 100 percent goes to Melanoma New Zealand.

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