The Journey

Chasing Canguro follows Alex Luther as he retraces the remarkable life of his late grandfather, Harry Luther, the Australian marathon water-skier who rose to fame during the golden age of the sport in the 1970s. Harry eventually went on to win the title of World Champion and set a World record that remains unbroken to this day.

The culmination of Alex’s journey is an attempt to re-create his grandfather’s greatest achievement – his World-Record-setting marathon water-ski for a distance of 5,010 kilometres, which Harry completed in 10 days, 5 hours, and 36 minutes in 1970. The route begins at the tip of Africa and tours the coasts of Spain, France, Monaco and Croatia, finishing in Italy – the country that gave Harry the affectionate name ‘Canguro’ (kangaroo) after his Australian heritage.

Many things stand in the way of Alex achieving his goal, none more so than Alex never having water-skied before in his life. In order to prepare physically for this daunting feat of endurance, Alex dives into a gruelling training routine and takes his first steps out on the water.

In parallel, he begins discovering what kind of man Harry Luther was. Having only vague memories of his grandfather, who passed away when Alex was aged 7, he is guided by the scrapbook passed down by his mother, Chondelle. The scrapbook is an anthology of Harry’s life and achievements, from his dazzling early career in the waters around Sydney, the burning determination which fuelled his fast rise to international fame, to his tragic death in a cycling accident in Perth in 1988.

This treasure trove of pennants, congratulatory telegrams, photographs, magazine articles, and newspaper clippings document Harry’s success during a time when competitive waterskiing was at the height of its popularity, attracting sponsorship from the likes of Pepsi, Mercury, BP, Fiat, Speedo, Polaroid, and Dunlop Tyres. Nostalgia for that time is re-awakened in those who were part of the sport then and to whom it was a way of life, including individuals who travelled and competed as part of Harry’s team.

Chasing Canguro will revisit that sporting age, embodied in Harry’s fiercely competitive character, spirit, and physical talent, and re-lived by Alex as he follows in his grandfather’s footsteps and takes his own place in Harry’s incredible legacy.