'Maximum carnage' for charity

JARED NICOLL
Last updated 14:51 27/11/2012

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Survivor-style scooting enthusiasts crossed rugged Marlborough Sounds farmland on 50cc scooters and had paintballs fired at them in their underwear before downing jalapenos in Picton.

On Friday, volunteers in the Scooter Survivor Challenge stopped in Picton for the jalapeno javelin competition, a jalapeno-eating race sponsored by Subway, as part of the group's mission to travel from Nelson to Ward on 50cc scooters between November 21 and November 24.

Event co-ordinator Jason Monopoli's Blue Team won the jalapeno challenge as judged by Mr Brown from the Picton Little Theatre.

The third annual trip involved 11 riders in three teams racing across farmland and enduring Olympic-themed challenges along the way to raise money for children's charity Project: Kids Pursuing Hope.

All money raised went to the charity but the winning team got to give the most cash.

"The goal is to get through it with a minimum of sealed road," Mr Monopoli said.

"I've had at least three burst tyres; we've had lots of crashes, broken brakes. I think I've crashed about five times today; there's some pretty steep, rugged, farm country coming through the Sounds."

The group started out as 12 but was down to 11 after one rider suffered "broken ribs and wounded pride" on the first day.

"It's hard but rewarding. Every dollar goes to the kids.

"We have to keep it to quite a small group because where we go is quite remote."

Along the way, the Olympic-themed endurance events, sponsored by companies, included synchronised dressage, beach relays, and scooter soccer with a large exercise ball.

The teams raised $410 for competing in "the gauntlet" in Titirangi, which involved standing on a balcony in their underwear while people who donated money shot them with paintballs.

"Everything's been designed around maximum carnage," Mr Monopoli said.

The riders raised about $5000 during last year's event and were "on track" to beat that this year.

Mr Monopoli's autistic son, Torenzo, 8, made national headlines in February after KPH sponsored the young burlesque fashion designer to work with one of the industry's brightest, Annah Stretton, in Auckland.

After Picton, the riders spent Friday night in Spring Creek before finishing in Ward on Saturday.

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- The Marlborough Express

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