19 June 2018
The physically demanding challenge comprises 22 legs, starting from Tangier, Morocco and finishing in Cervia, Italy, with 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.
The longest day will be eight hours in total, from Valencia to Barcelona and then onto Marseille, France, a fact made all the more remarkable bearing in mind Alex only decided to take up water-skiing as recently as 2013.
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 rest of the Chasing Canguro team and their equipment alike, Alex chose an Axopar 37 Sun- Top ‘R’ version as his ideal team boat for the challenge.
Powering the boat will be dual 300hp engines from Mercury Marine’s highly refined Verado® engine range.
“There were other boats we considered, but I was drawn to the Axopar 37 Sun-Top for its unique styling and sleek design at the Sydney International Boat Show,” said Alex.
“The noticeably aggressive chines and strakes stood out, evidence the boat was clearly capable of handling all types of water conditions.
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.