Chopper Cup continues to save lives

Despite the odd shower, the Chopper Cup regatta was mostly plain sailing for the 400 participants who attended last Tuesday’s fundraising event sponsored and coordinated by Dominion Constructors, Bassett Plumbing and KPMG.  

With some 38 sail boats on the water and celebrating its 8th year, the Chopper Cup was the perfect excuse to take the afternoon off, get out on the beautiful Waitemata Harbour, and raise money for a good cause.

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter service is grateful to have benefited from the event’s proceeds over the years.

With missions exceeding 1000 for the past few years, this vital funding goes towards what is needed to keep its two helicopters in the air.

All time and services are donated to ensure all funds raised go direct to the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust (ARHT). 

A little over $130,000 was raised on Tuesday to add to a donation tally in excess of $1,000,000 since the Cup’s inception. ARHT’s John Hooper says this is a, “phenomenal result”.

At host Ponsonby Cruising Club’s clubroom, participants were also asked to crowd fund towards the purchase of two new blood warmers. The response was a warm one indeed with 15 can-do donors raising their hands.

ARHT is the only rescue helicopter service in New Zealand to carry Prehospital and Retrieval Medicine Doctors onboard.

Having these doctors available 365 days of the year means the crew can perform more life-saving procedures, such as administering blood, from the moment they touch down. When minutes count, these procedures, usually reserved for the emergency room, can mean the difference between life and death.

As 2018 Chopper Cup celebrations drew to a close, the Westpac 2 chopper was tasked to a mission north of Te Hana to a serious head-on collision.

The accident scene in Te Hana.

ARHT Medical Director Dr Chris Denny (pictured carrying the blood) needed to administer two units to help save the life of a critical patient.

Fundraising events such as the Dominion Constructors Chopper Cup help ensure the Auckland Rescue Helicopters can continue to deliver a high standard of patient care to anyone, anywhere, anytime. When it’s needed the most.

To make a donation towards the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter service call 0800 4 RESCUE (0800 4 737283) or visit