When I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2005, I, with a good friend, rode my ski 5,000km (3,100-plus miles) around New Zealand to raise awareness of skin cancer. Over the next few years I went even further for the skin cancer cause with a cool but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to ride a ski from London to Sydney in 2010 and then three successful world distance records in 2011 and 2012.

Although Burfoot had previously circumvented the entirety of New Zealand by personal watercraft, his annual Melanoma Foundation adventure rides would take a far less grueling course.

All this took a lot of time and energy, and usually ended up costing a lot of money rather than raising it. I had heard about an event in Australia called Jet Trek which is an annual adventure over a week, raising funds for a chosen charity. The formula looked perfect: Lots of different people all having a ball, riding on a supported and preplanned adventure and helping to raise funds for a good cause.
I could see that this would work well in New Zealand and set about planning a trip in support of the Melanoma Foundation. The Aussies were very helpful in getting us setup and showing me all their procedures and templates. So with their help Ski-nZ was born. The first event was a huge success, raising $61,000 and getting the Melanoma Foundation’s message out there to the public.

The 2014 Ski-nZ started on the 10th of March in the Westhaven Inlet at the top North West tip of the South Island. Twenty-five riders set off at 8:30 am and were treated to some stunning scenery as they rode around Farewell Spit and into beautiful Pohara in Golden Bay, arriving around lunch time. They were then able to relax for the afternoon before attending the first of the sumptuous restaurant dinners provided along the way and suffering my nightly briefing.

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