A sailor from Stone is due to embark on the second leg of a round Britain marathon which is raising thousands of pounds for vital research into cystic fibrosis.
Michael Goodwin is inviting friends and fellow sailors to join him as he sets sail in his yacht The Blue Star from Greenock, up near Glasgow, on an estimated 1,200 mile journey, lasting two years – no mean feat.
A seasoned sailor and retired Staffordshire University Dean of Computing and Engineering, Michael has already smashed his £6,000 fundraising target for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and is on course to raise around £20,000.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust provides support to those with cystic fibrosis and their families and helps to drive up standards in medical care.
It is a cause close to 60-year-old Michael’s heart as his son, Daniel suffers from the condition, and is unfortunately not well enough to join Michael on his adventure.
“Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic condition which causes the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged with thick mucus, resulting in chronic infections and inflammation,” explains Michael.
“The Trust is working on amazingly challenging research to change the defective gene which causes cystic fibrosis and is also working to develop new antibiotics as many of the current ones have become less effective as patients take them regularly.”
Michael says that although his son has a positive attitude to his condition he battles continuously against ill health, and this challenge is the perfect opportunity to show his support for Daniel as well as raise all important funds.
“I am really looking forward to a fantastic sailing adventure circumnavigating the UK coastline whilst raising funds to help conquer cystic fibrosis.”
Michael is being supported by Stone company Woolcool, who are a main sponsor of the round Britain challenge and have their logo emblazoned on the sail and hull of his yacht.
Sailors who join Michael on the journey are asked to both pay their way while on board and make a donation to the charity and there is also a Virgin Money charity fundraising page.
Michael has been accompanied throughout his journey by his friend Roger Colner from Lymington, Hampshire. Both men hold Yacht Master certification and are experienced sailors.
Having set out from the Isle of Wight last spring, The Blue Star travelled from Southampton to North Scotland and the second leg in 2016 takes in Orkney south through the Irish Sea and back to Southampton.
Michael said: “We sailed for around a fortnight at a time before coming home for a short spell and then setting of again with a new set of companions.
“It was a cold summer and autumn and we were hit by much bad weather and gales but there were spectacular sights to take in such as the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne.
“We completed around 1,200 miles and will probably do more than that on this leg. We go north from Greenock and come down the Caledonian Canal again before heading towards Northern Ireland and along the Welsh coast and down to the South West of England.”
Angela Morris, Chief Executive of Woolcool, is related to Michael’s wife and was keen to help support the voyage along with her husband, Keith Spilsbury, Woolcool’s Managing Director.
Keith said: “We have been charting The Blue Star’s progress all the way through the first leg and hope to be in Scotland to greet Mike and the crew as they arrive at Loch Ness.”
Community Development & Fundraising Manager, Serena Wilson says:
“We wish Michael, Roger and whoever else who may be joining them on this sailing challenge the best of luck. We are incredibly grateful to Michael for his fundraising efforts and it is a fantastic challenge that he has taken on. With the help from challenges like this one we are able to fund research into better treatment for those with the condition. We are committed to improving the lives of those with cystic fibrosis.”
Michael is particularly keen to hear from businesses who would like to advertise on his yacht in return for a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and from anyone who would like to sail with him – Michael hopes that his crew members will make a generous donation to the Trust too.