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18th North Sails Golf Day raises £8,500 for the John Merricks Sailing Trust

by Suzy Hamel on 29 Oct 2014 24 October 2014

Sailors were out in force on the golf course on Friday 24th October, when 88 golfers turned out for the 18th North Sails Golf Day at Cams Hall Golf Club, Fareham. John 'Jonny' Merricks worked at North Sails and the first Golf Day, organised as it is today with the help of the Seahorse Golf Society, was set up to raise money for a Trust to be started in John's name. Since its inception 17 years ago the Golf Day has raised over £168,500 for the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST).

Miraculously, the forecast rain never materialised, and the warm October weather continued as former colleagues and friends of John's, including, Eddie Warden Owen, Iain MacDonald-Smith, Ossie Stewart, Jonathan Taylor, Chris Mason and Stephen Park, turned out to play a round of golf whilst also remembering John and supporting the charity in his name.

Giles Scott, recent winner of the British Sailing Team's Athlete of the Year award, after his unbeaten run in the Finn class this season, and team mate Ed Wright, also wielded their golf clubs in support of the Trust.

Rob Larke won the event with a score of 39, earning him the famous Bandit trophy.

The Contender Longest Drive competition, won by Steve Adlam with a massive 292 yard drive, earned the JMST a donation from Contender to match of £292!

The Grapefruit Graphics Nearest the Pin Challenge was won by Dean Shaw.

JMST Trustee, Ian Walker, Skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing sent a message via VOR Race Control to all the players, "Right now I am lucky enough to be in the middle of the Ocean doing what Jonny would have loved to have done. It makes me sad to think of all the wonderful opportunities sailing has given me that Jonny never had. He too could have been stuck trying to sleep in a boiling hot carbon container with 8 other very smelly blokes! I am sorry to miss the Golf Day this year but wanted to thank you all for being there and for supporting the JMST. The JMST has a pretty simple goal to give chances to young people in sailing that they might never have had. This year the JMST has touched more young sailors lives than any other and I am very proud of everything that has been done with your help over the last 17 years....."

New JMST Trustee, Nick Bubb, spoke of how support from the JMST in 2003 helped him to demonstrate the potential he'd begun to show as an emerging talent in shorthanded sailing and opened the door to a long and diverse ocean racing career. He stated that he was delighted to have been asked to join the JMST as a Trustee and that he was looking forward to working with the charity that supports so many young sailors on the way to achieving their goals and ambitions. He also highlighted the success of the continuing RYA OnBoard scheme that the JMST has committed to donate 50 boats to over a five year programme, providing young sailors with the opportunity to progress their skills and continue to participate in the sport of sailing. He closed mentioning past awardee, Lorenzo Chiavarini, whose recent successes include winning the U21 Laser European & World Championships this year as well as finishing 11th at the Open Worlds and winning the British Sailing Team's Podium Potential Sailor of the Year.

It is worth noting that four of the Podium Squad and six of the Podium Potential Squad in the British Sailing Team were awarded funding by the JMST in the past.

Simon Shaw, performed a fantastic job as auctioneer, coaxing a grand total of over £1,265 from bidders in the auction.

Neil Mackley from North Sails thanked all the many companies who generously sponsored the event or donated prizes and, as well as the players, many of whom have attended year after year, for their support.

Richard Langdon and Rachel Jaspersen from Ocean Images generously gave up their day to photograph the event - more images are available on the JMST Facebook page.

Winners:

  • 1st Rob Larke - 39 Stableford points (on countback)
  • 2nd Dave McLaughlin - 39 Stableford points
  • Ladies Trophy: Tessa Richardson 33 Stableford points
  • Best Team: Will Hutton, Laurence Guest, Kathy McLaughlin, Dave McLaughlin (Winners of the Bainbridge Trophy and 4 x Craftinsure Golf Day jackets)
Huge thanks go to North Sails for managing the event, Peter Nash of the Seahorse Golf Society and the Hole Sponsors: Contender; Dimension Polyant; Osmotech; RF Composites; TT Rigging; Grapefruit Graphics; Navigators & General; Toolkit Websites; Soluxion IT; Ocean Images; Craftinsure and North Sails.

As well all the companies and individuals who donated prizes: Ben Ainslie Racing; Henri Lloyd; Trudy Cook, Ocean Art; MACtac; Sail Spy; Pig Bags; Kayospruce; Musto: The Bespoke Cake Studio; Bainbridge; Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing; Andark; RYA; North Sails; King & Queen and La Dolce Vita, Hamble.

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