Staff from the University Hospital of Wales will take on a sailing challenge next weekend (18 June) for the Wales Air Ambulance.

Consultant Richard Penketh’s team consists of colleagues from the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and his family. The team that will be sailing at the Eddystone Charity Pursuit on Richard’s yacht ‘Moondust’ are Tony Griffiths, Angharad Jones and John Penketh.

The Eddystone Charity Pursuit has a large prize fund which crews compete to win for their chosen charity. The team are aiming to raise £10,000 for the lifesaving charity and have already raised £1,100.

The Eddystone Rock is a lighthouse 13 miles off Plymouth and the pursuit starts and finishes in Plymouth covering 26 miles.

Richard said: “My team and I are fundraising for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. The charity is funded by the people of Wales and requires £8 million a year to keep its four helicopters in the sky, serving Wales and saving lives. The charity can be anywhere in Wales within 20 minutes, its doctors and medics fly the A&E department to the patient.”

Richard’s yacht ‘Moondust’ has entered the event several times over the years. It twice won the youngest female crew member and it finished second overall in 2019. The 40ft yacht is based in Dartmouth.

Richard added: “This year we are entering for the Smeaton trophy which requires three of the team members to be from the same organisation University Hospital of Wales. We hope to raise significant funds before the event to help us win a good part of the prize fund for Wales Air Ambulance and make a significant contribution towards the required £8 million a year.”

The boats taking part score points by registering early to raise funds for their nominated charity and finally how well they do in the event.

Richard said: “It is extremely important not only to raise a lot of money for the charity and but also sail well in the event. Each boat has a handicap with the slowest boats starting first and under ideal conditions all of the boats should finish together.”

The Wales Air Ambulance Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep its emergency helicopters in the air and its rapid response vehicles on the road.

The 24/7 emergency service offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care. 

Laura Coyne, Community Fundraiser for Wales Air Ambulance, said: “Good luck to Richard and his team with their sailing fundraiser. We are delighted that the Wales Air Ambulance has been chosen to benefit from their fundraising event at Eddystone Charity Pursuit and the team hope to raise an incredible £10,000. We hope everyone shows their support to Richard, Tony, Angharad and John with their fundraising efforts. Fundraisers like they ones help us to continue to her there for the people of Wales 24/7. Thank you all.”

You can show your support to Richard and his team by donating to their Just Giving page UHW. Obs and Gyn Eddystone Charity Pursuit

For more information on the 21st year of the Eddystone Charity Pursuit click here