Harbour water-walk a charity challenge

16:00, Feb 18 2013
ZURF'S UP: From the makers of the Zorb, this contraption will be used by three Aucklanders attempting to cross the harbour to raise charity funds.

A harebrained idea that began in jest is to become a reality as Takapuna woman Cat Howell attempts to set a world record for walking on water.

Armed with a Zurf, a new contraption from the makers of the Zorb, Howell and two friends will be making history with their bid to walk from Takapuna Beach to Rangitoto Island over the ocean.

The watery trek measures five kilometres and Howell is hoping she and her team will make it across in eight hours but a good westerly could cut that down to two.

What began as a fun challenge has now grown into a Guinness World Record attempt and a fundraiser for two charities.

She hopes to raise $7,000 to split between the Y for Youth charity and The Girl Effect, an international body helping  young girls fight poverty in their communities.

''I've always given to charities but it feels really incredible to be physically involved in raising money for them,'' Howell said.

The 27-year-old Canadian has been in New Zealand since 2006 and Takapuna for the past year.

Embarking on the crazy crusade has already been a rollercoaster, she said, from auditioning friends for the last two spots on the Zurf, to checking in with the harbourmaster for the green light.

The ballpark launch date is in early March. 

Howell and her team must wait for just the right day when the shipping channel is clear and the weather relatively calm.

She is furiously raising money, working out all the details and documenting her progress on her blog, Walking on Water.

Visit yeity.com and click on the blog tab to follow Howell's preparations or to help with her fundraising efforts.


Auckland Now