Father and son duo to race Nicholson 32 MkX to the Azores and back for Parkinson's Disease Society 15/2/07

Father and son duo, James and Henry Walker are racing their Nicholson 32 MkX Araminta, to the Azores and back (AZAB) in June this year in a bid to raise £50,000 for the Parkinson’s Disease Society (PDS).

Their efforts have been considerably boosted by a donation of £5,000 from boat enthusiast David Starling. This donation was from the proceeds of the sale of the owner’s gig from the yacht Venetia, which was built for Henry Walker’s great great-grandfather in 1904. Venetia was rescued by David Starling in 1996 and restored to her former glory. She raced in the Great River Race with great success for six years but it was felt that ‘no lady should have to race after her hundredth birthday’.

Starling was delighted to donate the proceeds to Araminta’s cause as he felt it completed the circle, especially as the gig has a history of raising funds for charity, starting with the fund for the widows and orphans of the Titanic victims in 1912.

James Walker said: “We are extremely grateful to David for this very kind donation and delighted that we are that much closer to our target.

“The AZAB 2007 boat race is a very personal challenge for both of us. My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 66 and my wife was diagnosed just over three years ago, at the age of 50.

“We’re hoping to raise over £50,000 for the Society to go towards research into the finding a cure and helping those living with the condition, their family and friends.”

James (62) and Henry (30) will race Aramintafrom Falmouth through the Western approaches and Bay of Biscay to Sao Miguel in the Azores and back, a distance of around 2,400 miles. Araminta was built in 1972 and will be one of the oldest boats taking part in the race.

To sponsor James and Henry please visit their website at www.araminta.org.uk where you can donate online and find out more about their amazing trip.