Chasing Canguro World Record attempt underway

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Acknowledging how much his late, but still much-admired grandfather, Harry Luther, meant to him as someone to look up to and an inspiration when he was growing up, 36 year old, Australian, Alex Luther, will attempt to replicate the amazing 5,010Km long-distance world waterski record, set by his grandfather back in 1970.

Comprising 22 legs, starting from Tangier, Morocco and finishing in Cervia, Italy, the physically demanding challenge will see 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, some 10 or 11 days later, if all goes to plan. A truly brave and remarkable challenge, bearing in mind Alex only decided to take up water-skiing as recently as 2013.

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Affectionately nicknamed ‘Canguro’ (kangaroo), by his many Italian fans back in 1970, Harry Luther’s world endurance record still stands at 10 days, 5 hours and 36 minutes.  Grandson Alex’s strategy, therefore, is to cover two legs every day at high average speeds, enabling him to keep within sight of what was his grandfather’s amazing achievement at the time.  

Physically demanding for Alex and a test of strength and endurance for the entire Chasing Canguro team, word got out about this unique world-record challenge and Axopar Boats became very intrigued. Taking into consideration natural and unavoidable risks of an attempt like this, such as the potential for strong afternoon sea breeze, volatile sea states, and the physically demanding, daily schedule that Alex’s mind and body will have to endure, only the most single-minded, determined and confident water-skier would be interested in taking on such a challenge. 

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Recognising this as Alex’s deeply personal tribute to his late grandfather, Axopar Boats decided to support Alex by offering him an Axopar 37 Sun-Top ‘R’ - an offer that was warmly accepted by the Chasing Canguro team.

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Describing how much his grandfather meant to him, Alex said, “He told me about what he did when he was younger and how physically and mentally demanding the ‘Chasing Canguro’ endeavor was for him and the team. He passed away when I was very young, but I have always looked up to him, vowing that when the time came, I would attempt to reproduce this experience as closely as possible. This means adopting the same training techniques as he did, like several years of cycling long distances and developing upper-torso strength in my own personal gym. Testing myself, as he did, over a ten or eleven day period, will allow me to follow in his footsteps, something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Spiritually I know he’ll be there, willing me on, all the way.”

Powering the boat will be dual 300hp engines from Mercury Marine’s highly refined Verado® engine range. Unveiled to the boating public as recently as the 18th May, the latest evolution of the Verado® 250hp and 300hp models utilize an all-new quad-cam 4.6 litre V8 powerhead which, even despite the extra capacity, is lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient than its closest V6 cylinder competitor.  

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The Axopar 37 Sun-Top version ‘R’ is standard, apart from the team having installed a strengthened ski pole and passenger seats that can face backwards for the observer crew to use.  The fuel tank is a standard-spec 730 litre capacity and the aft-deck was deemed already roomy enough to carry the team’s equipment including camera gear, safety gear and such like, with the Sun-Top roof having been adapted to carry extra water skis.

One of the scheduled highlights will be at the end of Leg 8, when Alex is hoping for a personal rendezvous at the Monaco Yacht Club with His Serene Highness Albert II, The Sovereign Prince of Monaco. The principality personally welcomed and received Alex’s grandfather, Harry Luther, in the same way, back in 1970, and Alex still has several family mementos of that historical meeting. 

On behalf of Axopar Boats, we wish Alex Luther and the Chasing Canguro team every possible success in their major waterski challenge. 

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