First patron

Ainslie accepts John Merricks Sailing Trust honour

Sunday March 27th 2005, Author: Suzy Hamel, Location: United Kingdom
The John Merricks Sailing Trust has announced that Ben Ainslie OBE is to become the charity’s first patron. Triple Olympic medallist, Ben Ainslie, (Athens 2004 – Gold – Finn Class; Sydney 2000 – Gold – Laser Class; Atlanta 1996 – Silver – Laser Class) is an international sailing hero. He was also a friend and a 1996 Olympic team-mate of the late John Merricks.

Ben said, “I am honoured to be the first patron of the John Merricks Sailing Trust and delighted to have been asked to supporta charity that helps young sailors in the UK. John was not only a great sailor but his attitude to the sport was a terrific example to all young sailors of the future.”

The charity’s Trustees were thrilled to hear that Ben had accepted the position of patron. Ian Walker, JMST Trustee and John’s 1996 Olympic sailing partner said, “Ben is the greatest dinghy sailor of this or perhaps any generation. He is an inspiration to all of our award winners.”

Set up by those closest to John following his untimely death in 1997, The John Merricks Sailing Trust seeks to help other young sailors achieve their goals. In its first 6 years the John Merricks Sailing Trust, a registered charity, has supported youth sailing by awarding more than 40 grants to date. Totaling over £60,000 these awards have been made to deserving individuals, clubs and youth organizations that have demonstrateda financial need and their commitment to sailing. These awards have ranged from learn to sail schemes in clubs, sea scouts and schools, to grants to top racing youth and junior sailors who need help to buy equipment or to travel to major events.

As Ben commented – “John would not have achieved all that he did without financial help from others and the John Merricks Sailing Trust does a great job at helping those that need it.”

More information regarding the John Merricks Sailing Trust can be found on their website

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