Jet skiers zoom for charity

By Kiri Gillespie

Mount Maunganui's Pilot Bay will be petrol-head heaven on Monday as more than 20 jet skis launch in unison for a New Zealand-first charity event.

The jet skiers are to travel 600km to the Bay of Islands in an effort to raise $40,000 for the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand.

Tauranga man Peter Whale would be taking part in the six-day run, the first event of its kind in New Zealand.

Jet skiers start in Tauranga on Monday and the journey to Russell would be broken up into six stages.

Each leg of the run would cover about 100km.

Mr Whale has partnered with Russell-based Callum Farnell and the two men would act as each other's support crew when they head out of Tauranga at 10am on March 4. They have raised $6000.

Event organiser Jeremy Burfoot, who holds several jet ski related world records, said he had a melanoma in 2005 and had since worked with the foundation on ways to raise awareness and funds.

On Sunday, cancer survivors would take part in a walk around Mauao to raise awareness of melanoma. The walk was expected to attract more than 100 people.

The Melanoma Foundation is a registered charitable trust, devoted to creating excellence in the awareness, education, prevention, treatment and research of the disease in New Zealand.

The Yamaha Melanoma Foundation Ski-nz

Day 1: Tauranga to Whitianga

Day 2: Whitianga to Coromandel

Day 3: Coromandel to Takapuna

Day 4: Takapuna to Matakana

Day 5: Matakana to Marsden Bay

Day 6: Marsden Bay to Russell

- Bay of Plenty Times

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