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West Wales sailors get boat boost

by Hamish Stuart 7 Feb 11:04 GMT

Two West Wales sailors are set to take a step up thanks to the generosity of the John Merricks Sailing Trust.

Freya Terry, helm, and Tiegan Pearce, crew, set off on a trip to England from Tresaith Mariners Sailing Club on the West Wales coast - and came back with a new boat.

New to them, anyway. It was a good quality second hand International 420 dinghy from the JMST, which they collected from Datchet Saiing Club when they went there for 420 Class training.

They are already planning their class training and racing schedule for this year, thanks to the new freedom of having their own boat to work in.

Ian Walker, Trustee of the John Merricks Sailing Trust, wrote, "John Merricks was a fantastic young sailor, but it was his enthusiasm for the sport that shone through.

"He worked very hard to achieve his goals but always loved the sport too. It certainly sounds like the girls show many similar qualities. I hope the 420 works out well for them and I will personally enjoy following their progress."

Thanks to the support at Pembrokeshire Performance Sailing Academy and Richard Owens, Fishguard Bay and Tresaith Mariners, the pair have been able to develop this far in a club 420 for training and events.

"We were very excited waiting to pick up our 420 at the class training and after quite a lot of setting up we finally launched. It was very windy and we took a while to get to grips with the new boat. We had some help to adjust all of the rigging which helped," wrote Freya and Tiegan in a blog post.

"One thing we learnt was how to adjust the centreboard going up wind in high winds. When the mast is raked back you also move the centreboard up to balance the centre of effort in the sail over the centre of effort for the centreboard, making it easier to control.

"At first we were struggling to keep up with the fleet in the races, but after one of the coaches helped us to adjust our sail settings suddenly we were up in the middle of the fleet. It turns out we were sailing well, but we just needed to learn how to adjust everything and start marking up our settings on the boat.

"This will also help with setting the spinnaker as Tiegan will be able to cleat the sheets before we throw the kite up. A good excuse to do lots more sailing...

"It was great getting our new boat, I was excited about the blue and white colour scheme and especially the blue and white stripy spinnaker. I loved having a whole weekend of sailing, being out in challenging conditions and even having beans and chips for lunch!"

For further details about Welsh sailing and watersports, please go to www.rya.org.uk/rya-regions/rya-cymru-wales or www.facebook.com/RYACymruWales or follow on Twitter @RYACymruWales. You can also keep up to date by following RYA Cymru Wales on Instagram - www.instagram.com/rya_cymru_wales

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