Ocean swimmers in Auckland have called off a major event in Christchurch and replaced it with a 1km charity swim at Milford Beach.
The State Corsair Classic was to be held this weekend at the epicentre of the major shake, near Lyttelton. Instead, organisers from Quantum Events have announced:
"In light of the recent tragic events in Christchurch, Quantum Events along with other key event managers, coaches and swimming enthusiasts have decided to do something special to help the people of Christchurch whilst doing something we all love - swimming.
"Given the tragic circumstances of the Christchurch earthquake the State Corsair Classic planned for this Saturday is now cancelled. The city is in a state of emergency for the next five days and this is not the time to bring large numbers of people together in Christchurch as residents of the city go about securing their lives and property.
"While this will undoubtedly cause some disruption to those entered in this year's event, we have thoughts only at the moment for the people of Canterbury and wish to extend our sympathies to all who have lost loved ones or suffered damage to their homes, place of work or indeed lost their livelihoods as a consequence of the earthquake and the incredible damage caused.
"Further information will be communicated directly to all entrants of the Corsair Classic on Tuesday 1st March, but for now please join us in sending our thoughts to all who have been affected by these tragic events.
The fundraiser at Milford Beach on the morning of Saturday, February 26, will be patrolled by Surf Lifesaving New Zealand. Swimmers must be a competent and capable of swimming 1km.
The Canterbury Earthquake Appeal swim was initiated by Simon Bucherer and Sarah Ley-Bucherer, two of the State NZ Ocean Swim Series loyal swimmers.
Without knowing final numbers until Saturday, start waves may be introduced and start times may vary slightly on the morning. Swimmer safety will be the priority.
All swimmers will need to read and accept the events terms and conditions which will be available on the event morning between 7.30am - 8am.
Other supporters of the Milford event are: Haydn Woolley, Stephen Farrell, Shane Hooks and Total Sport.
Splash for cash
What: 1km Ocean Swim
When: Sign-up from 7.30am with approximate start time of 8am this Saturday, February 26
Where: Gather at Milford Beach Reserve, Craig Rd, Milford
Who: Anyone who can competently swim 1km or wants to attend as a non-swimmer and donate funds
Cost: Cash donations for the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal of any amount - dig deep. NB: Cash donations only.