Coffs Harbour local John Altwein takes to the waters at Red Rock.
Coffs Harbour local John Altwein takes to the waters at Red Rock. Ellen Koester Photography

John rocks on with water skiing passion

IF THERE was ever a man who proves age is just a number, John Altwein is it.

Just shy of his 85th birthday, the Coffs Harbour local recently took to the water at Red Rock to rekindle his passion for water skiing.

It's a sport he first tried his hand at more than 30 years ago in his native homeland of Germany.

But after relocating to the Coffs Coast in 1982, John became busy with work and family, and without easy access to a speed boat, gave the sport away.

Having been diagnosed with bowel cancer 10 years ago, John said testing his strength on the water was his driving motivation.

"It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time," he said.

"I tried in 2014 and it was pretty hard for me.

"A few weeks ago I thought maybe I should try again and it was wonderful - I was strong enough to do it and had a lot of fun."

The sprightly octogenarian attributes his strength to a healthy lifestyle, not drinking alcohol and never smoking.

With encouragement of his wife Karla, two daughters, three granddaughters and two great-grandsons, John said he now plans to get back on the water once a year.

"It's a feeling I describe as like walking on water," he said.

"Red Rock is a peaceful area and to see the surroundings is heaven for me."



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