Ben Ainlsie receives the cheque on behalf of the John Merricks Sailing Trust

Ben Ainlsie receives the cheque on behalf of the John Merricks Sailing Trust

All for charity

Sailors pick up sticks in aid of John Merricks Sailing Trust

Tuesday November 1st 2005, Author: Suzy Hamel, Location: United Kingdom
A wet start did not deter any of the 96 golfers who turned out for the ninth North Sails Golf Day on Friday 28th October at Cams Hall in Fareham. They were rewarded with a fine, breezy but warm day. Former colleagues of John’s, Olympic medallists, Americas Cup sailors, yacht designers, keen amateur sailors and friends all turned out to remember John Merricks and support this youth sailing charity.

Patron of the JMST Ben Ainslie OBE narrowly made it back from the light air Rolex Middle Sea Race in time and joined his fellow Olympic Medallists Iain Percy, Steve Mitchell, Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb, Ian Walker and Ossie Stewart. Thrilled to meet them were some 2005 award recipients, the 1st Warsash Sea Scouts, who supported the day by displaying an Optimist from their fleet refurbished with money from the JMST and racing model yachts on the lake outside the club.

Hugo Ambrose played exceptionally to score 42 Stableford points off his 6 handicap and therefore win on countback from Duncan Ward. Meanwhile Susie Tomson seized the ladies trophy with 30 points. Perhaps the biggest surprise performance was this year’s Bandit Trophy winner Simon Fry from North Sails who managed to score 30 points more than last year off the same 28 handicap without lifting a golf club in the intervening 12 months! Who says practice is the key. He also carried his team to the team prize.

The Neilson Holidays Nearest the Pin Competition was won by Sarah Webb MBE who received Neilson Holiday vouchers whilst David Dent won the Cambridge Garage Volvo Longest Drive Competition at the 10th. His prize was the use of a Volvo car of his choice for use over a long weekend.

The biggest drama unfolded on the long par three where Veneziani offered to give a brand new Maestral RIB and engine supplied by Wittey Marine and worth £23,000, to anybody who got a hole in one. Closest was Iain Percy who finished a mere 1 metre away. Sail TV captured all the excitement which will soon be on their website for all to see:

World renowned Star sailors Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell performed a great double act at the auction which raised over £2,500. A grand total of £15,520 was raised on the day which will be put towards various deserving youth sailing projects by the Trustees of the JMST. This record figure was greatly boosted by the generosity of Richard Matthews, Chairman of Oyster Marine. As the manufacturer of Oyster Yachts, when he discovered that a hole on the course was called ‘Oystercatcher’ he offered £1,000 for each ‘birdie’ achieved on this hole. 7 golfers duly obliged, making the Trust a magnificent £7,000 alone.

Men’s Winner – Hugo Ambrose - North Sails Trophy - £150 pro shop vouches
2nd - Duncan Ward - £100 pro shop vouchers
3rd - Simon Fry - £50 pro shop vouchers
Ladies Winner – Susie Tomson – Crystal Putter and £100 pro shop vouchers
Bandit Trophy – Simon Fry
Bandit Team – Ian Walker, James Stagg, Rory Herron and Simon Fry

Photographs were taken by Ian Finlay – and are displayed at High resolution images can be ordered directly from the JMST for a minimum donation of £5.

Huge thanks go to North Sails (John Merricks’ former employers) who organise and manage the event, Peter Nash of the Seahorse golf society, every company and individual who donated prizes or items for the auction, the individual hole sponsors and Peterkin Ltd, for supplying the model boats. The hole sponsors were - Sail TV, Volvo, Nautor Swan, Grapefruit Graphics, Cambridge Garage (Portsmouth) Ltd, Veneziani, Raymarine, Dehler Yachts, Ancasta, Kaenon Eyewear, J-UK / Key Yachting, Alno Kitchens, Quaife Design, Polypipe, Dimension Polyants and Craftinsure.

The John Merricks Sailing Trust supports young sailors and junior sailing projects in financial need. It has awarded over £80,000 to individuals or projects that seek to further youth sailing. If you or your project needs help see for more details.
Winner of the day, Hugo Ambrose

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