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SECAmb Ambulance Takes Victory in UK Emergency Services Regatta, Raising £1000 for the Ambulance Sta

by Steve Doherty 22 May 2023 16:24 BST 8-9 May 2023
SECAmb Ambulance Takes Victory in UK Emergency Services Regatta © SECAmb

In an inspiring display of skill, teamwork, and determination, a team of paramedics led by a Donegal sailor emerged victorious in the prestigious UK Emergency Services Regatta. This remarkable achievement not only highlighted their sailing prowess but also served to raise £1000 for the Ambulance Staff Charity, a charity set up to improve Mental Health among Ambulance Service Staff.

The South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust formed a new sailing team earlier this year, aiming to introduce its staff to the world of sailing and yacht racing. Comprising eight paramedics, the team included individuals with varying levels of sailing experience. The event brought together seasoned race teams from various emergency services, with a total of 31 entries from across the UK and Northern Ireland.

The first day of the regatta, which took place on Monday, May 8th, served as a practice day for all participants. Despite the crew's limited experience with spinnakers and racing, they showcased exceptional teamwork and performance, despite the persistent rain. As the competition progressed, their speed and determination became evident, propelling them to third place overall by the end of the first day.

On the subsequent day, the team competed in four races, fully aware that securing top-three finishes would guarantee them a podium position. Their efforts were met with resounding success, as they achieved 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions in the final races, securing the overall victory. The team's exceptional performance was celebrated during the Gala Dinner, attended by 250 participants and emergency services personnel from across the UK and Europe.

During the event, the Chief Officer of Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service generously donated £1000 to the team. Expressing gratitude for the donation, it was promptly contributed to the Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC), a cause close to the hearts of the winning team.

SECAmb, represented by this exceptional team, now proudly holds the title of the fastest Emergency Services Yacht Racing Team in the UK. The achievement not only reflects their sailing prowess but also underscores the importance of engaging frontline emergency service staff in activities that enhance their mental health and overall well-being.

Jamie Webb, Rob King, Kirsten Reid, Heidi Wright, Josh Guinane, Cam Walker, and Mike Gardner deserve immense praise for their unwavering dedication, willingness to push beyond their comfort zones, and ability to thrive under pressure. Each team member played a crucial role in securing this remarkable victory.

This triumph marks only the beginning of the team's journey, as they plan to compete in more events throughout the year. Furthermore, they intend to organize sailing taster sessions across the Ambulance Service, aiming to make the sport more accessible to the wider NHS community.

The success of this team not only showcases their exceptional sailing skills but also serves as an inspiration to others within the emergency services sector. By engaging in activities that promote well-being and team spirit, they have demonstrated the positive impact it can have on mental health and overall job satisfaction.

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