Star turn out for John Merricks Golf Day
A cool cloudy morning greeted the 90 golfers who turned out for the 14th North Sails Golf Day on Friday 29 October at Cams Hall in Fareham. John 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 14 years ago the Golf Day has raised over £137,000.
Olympic Gold Medallists Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson enjoyed some well-deserved downtime during a round of golf with fellow international sailors including Guy Salter, Chris Mason, Matt Cornwell, Jonathan Taylor, James Stagg, Eddie Warden Owen and Ossie Stewart.
This fantastic event always draws the support of former colleagues and friends of John’s, Olympic medallists, America's Cup sailors, yacht designers and keen amateur sailors who turn out to play a good game of golf while remembering John and supporting the charity in his name.
Rod Carr, JMST trustee and former CEO of the RYA, gave a speech outlining the achievements of the Trust over the past year and thanking everyone for their continued support of the JMST.
Phil Wilson presented a cheque of £1,400 to the JMST on behalf of the Seahorse Golf Society, as this year’s Captain, Steve ‘Taff’ Dodd, had nominated the JMST as his chosen charity. Taff had been, as Phil described, "extremely persuasive in extracting donations from members and encouraging them to donate all their winnings!”
Neil Mackley from North Sails commented, “We are delighted with the end result of today’s Golf Day, raising money for charity in the current economic climate is not easy, and I would just like to thank the companies that supported the day and the players who hopefully enjoyed a good round of golf.”
Winner of the day Will Donaldson scored 41 Stableford points and was presented with the North Sails Trophy. In second place was David Young, while third place went to Ian Clarke.
Meanwhile Alison Essex took the ladies trophy and Andrew McCall’s team walked away with the Team Trophy of four Golf Day branded sport bags donated by Craftinsure.
Ian Clarke won this year’s Bandit Trophy – an annual trophy originally presented by Mark Tomson, the first Bandit winner. Dick Owens won the Musto Nearest the Pin prize and the Musto sponsored Longest Drive was achieved by Ben Nicholls.
Olympic Gold Medallists and Star World Champions, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, performed a highly entertaining double act as auctioneers, coaxing a grand total of £1,475 for an array of diverse prizes, from bidders in the auction.
Men’s Winner – Will Donaldson - North Sails Trophy - £150 pro shop vouches
2nd – David Young - £100 pro shop vouchers
3rd – Ian Clarke - £50 pro shop vouchers
Ladies Winner – Alison Essex – Crystal Putter and £50 pro shop vouchers
Bandit Trophy – Ian Clarke
Photographs were taken by Ian Finlay and Jake Sugden and a selection are displayed at www.jmst.org.uk. High resolution images can be ordered directly from the JMST for a minimum donation of £10.
Huge thanks go to North Sails for managing the event, Peter Nash of the Seahorse Golf Society and every company and individual who donated prizes and the individual Hole Sponsors: Dimension Polyants; Osmotech; RF Composites; TT Rigging; Toolkit Websites; Soluxion IT; Grapefruit Graphics; Craftinsure.
The John Merricks Sailing Trust supports young sailors and junior sailing projects in financial need. It has awarded over £200,000 to individuals or projects that seek to further youth sailing.