‘Courageous, brave and honourable’ – words that summarise the ‘Chasing Canguro’ world record water-ski attempt that 36 year old Australian, Alex Luther, is currently mid-way through completing in deep admiration and respect of his late grandfather, Harry Luther’s 5,010km marathon water-ski world-record, set in 1970.
Using an Axopar 37 Sun-Top Version-R, powered by latest 300hp Mercury V8 Verado® engines, the physically demanding challenge started on Tuesday 26th June in Tangiers, and has now reached the exciting mid-way point.
A Royal welcome in Monaco
Yesterday evening, after a gruelling 11 hours water-skiing through rough sea conditions, Alex Luther reached Monaco harbour to receive a very special welcome by H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco. This marked the end of Day 4 of the ‘Chasing Canguro’ World Record water-skiing attempt, which sees Alex attempting to replicate the historical feat that his grandfather, Harry Luther, undertook almost 50 years ago.
Comprising 22 legs, starting from Tangier, Morocco and finishing in Cervia, Italy, the physically demanding challenge sees Alex tracking the Mediterranean coastline, from Southern Spain to France, then Monaco and the Italian coastline, via a stop in Croatia, before crossing back over the Adriatic Sea to finish in Cervia, all in 10 days.
As he approaches the halfway mark at the end of today, Day 5 of the challenge, it is apparent that the first half of the challenge has not been as smooth as the whole team would have hoped. Primarily, the water conditions have been significantly rougher than would have been ideal, meaning that Alex has had to battle against swells of up to almost 5 metres at the worst points, to reach his target rest locations. This in turn has impacted the speed at which he can travel, at times turning 3 hour legs into 5 hour legs to cover the required distances.
Nevertheless, Alex has continually demonstrated that his 5 years of punishing physical and mental preparations are paying off, as he demonstrates his determination to follow in his legendary grandfather’s tracks. Speaking this morning about yesterday’s arduous 11 hour leg of the challenge, Alex said, “The conditions today were tough. Leaving Barcelona, we had some reasonable water for 2 hours up the coast heading to our first fuel stop. We then decided to make up time and head straight towards Monaco, away from the coast and into no-man’s land, where we spent 6 hours. This was very tough, both mentally and physically. Having no reference points is not ideal but we had no other choice. We finally reached land and were greeted by more tough conditions for our final 3 hour leg into Monaco.”
Whilst setting the original world record for marathon water-skiing in 1970, the late Harry Luther, of the Pepsi Ski Team, delivered an Australian-made, handcrafted water ski to Prince Rainier III during his visit to Monaco. The gesture prompted the Prince to write a personal letter of thanks to Harry, a letter that Alex’s grandmother still has to this day.
Yesterday evening, H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco warmly greeted Alex Luther as he arrived into Monaco harbour, bearing tribute to the original meeting of the Prince’s father and Alex’s grandfather in 1970. Alex was proud to present an Australian, signed, handcrafted, miniature water-ski to Prince Albert as a gesture of appreciation for the support that the Principality of Monaco has provided throughout the planning and execution of the Chasing Canguro World record attempt.
Now, as the Chasing Canguro team reach the halfway point, we recognise the incredible levels of determination that are required in order to beat the target time of 10 days, 5 hours and 36 minutes. Whatever happens during the coming days, there is no doubt that Alex Luther and the Chasing Canguro team have done everything in their power, and more, to face up to the challenge.
To ensure that they have the best available chance of achieving their objective, Axopar Boats are proud to partner with Chasing Canguro, providing an Axopar 37 Sun-Top Version-R equipped with dual 300hp engines from Mercury Marine’s highly refined V8 Verado® engine range.
With day 4 behind him, and day 5 having now begun, Alex faces the ‘awe-inspiring’ task of a water-ski ‘circumnavigation’ of Italy, the country whose people affectionately referred to Alex’s grandfather, Harry, as ‘Canguro’ from where the ‘Chasing Canguro’ challenge derives its name.
On behalf of Axopar Boats, we wish Alex Luther and the Chasing Canguro team continued success against the challenging and unpredictable nature of this historical water-ski World Record tribute event.