Twenty-five Personal Water Craft (PWC) riders have safely tackled the 6-day, 325-nautical mile 2014 Yamaha Melanoma Foundation Ski-NZ challenge, raising an impressive $93,000 to fight the deadly skin cancer disease.
Organised by Auckland 747 pilot, father of three and melanoma survivor Jeremy Burfoot, the Yamaha Melanoma Foundation Ski-NZ challenge was this year held at the top of the South Island, with the dedicated fleet riding from the Whanganui Inlet (west of Farewell Spit) to Nelson, French Pass, around D’Urville and Stephens Islands and then on to Picton. The final scheduled leg, across Cook Strait to Wellington, was called off due to the imminent arrival of Cyclone Lusi.
Burfoot says he was overwhelmed by the amount of support the event received from sponsors (especially Yamaha), participants, support crew, family and friends.
“Last year our journey took us from Tauranga to Russell, spreading our melanoma awareness message in those areas and raising $60,000 for the Foundation. This year, we took it to the South Island and raised an incredible $93,000!
“Just as importantly, we again clearly demonstrated our continuing commitment to raising awareness of melanoma: a cancer that is killing more than 300 Kiwis a year.”
Burfoot says he believes that every year the Yamaha Melanoma Foundation Ski-NZ is held, the more Kiwis will be reached and the more lives will be saved, by promoting the importance of regular skin checks.
This is the 4th time that Burfoot has teamed with Yamaha to raise awareness of the dangers melanoma poses to New Zealanders. In addition to the 2013 and 2014 Yamaha Melanoma Foundation Ski-NZ challenges, he has also set two world records on his Yamaha VXR1800 Wave Runner (for the fastest 1000km on a PWC and for the longest distance travelled on a PWC in six hours).
As well as attracting Kiwis from as far north as the Bay of Islands, the Yamaha Melanoma Foundation Ski-NZ also drew keen PWC riders from overseas. One of those was Ben Cardozo, who travelled all the way from the United Kingdom to take part.
“Apart from enjoying some of the magnificent scenery in New Zealand, I was proud to be part of such a good cause. My knowledge of melanoma increased enormously throughout the event and it has made me more aware of the dangers.
“I won’t hesitate to recommend the event to others in the UK and I aim to be back next year,” he says.
Burfoot says he is already looking forward to the 2015 Yamaha Melanoma Foundation Ski-NZ challenge.
“Next year we are hoping to take on the East Coast of the North Island, from Napier to Tauranga.
“And hopefully we will raise even more money for the Melanoma Foundation so that it can continue leading the fight against melanoma and supporting those affected by it.”
For more information, please contact:
Melanoma Foundation of NZ
Phone: (09) 4763-496
Mobile: (021) 213-2056