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IOCA(UK) nominate the John Merricks Sailing Trust as its official Charity

Friday, 22 June 2007

The UK International Optimist Class Association (IOCA(UK)) is very pleased to formally announce that it is linking up with the John Merricks Sailing Trust as its official charity.

As part of this link up, IOCA(UK) is very excited to announce that the Trust will be donating a brand new Optimist, which will be won by a sailor at the 2007 Optimist National Championships in Weymouth. This is a fantastic and generous offer, and the class looks forward to announcing the winner at the Prize Giving at the end of the week. The exact basis on which the boat will be won is being agreed between the Trustees and senior members of the IOCA(UK) committee, but it can confirmed now that it will be awarded to a British sailor competing in the Junior Fleet at Weymouth, with the exact criteria being announced at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday 29th July 2007.

For those unfamiliar with the Trust, it was founded by family and colleagues close to John to do some good in his name and further the memory of a remarkable person, and hugely talented sailor. Having won a silver medal in the 470 Class at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, John was tragically killed in a car accident in 1997 whilst competing at the Melges 24 European Championships in Italy. In memory of his drive, talent and commitment to sailing the Trust was set up to held and support others, give them support and setting them on their way to fulfilling their own dreams.

The objectives of the Trust are to advance the education and physical and mental development of young people in need (under the age of 25 years) with a view to promoting the achievement of their potential through the sport of sailing. IOCA(UK) is very honoured to link up with the fantastic work of the Trust, and in its own way to help others, maybe less fortunate than some, enjoy and progress in the sport of sailing. Ben Cooper, Chairman of the UK Optimist Class Association, in announcing this link said, “The Optimist is the foremost junior dinghy class which provides a solid foundation in the skills of sailing and racing; it has been the starting point for so many hugely successful Olympic and other international sailing careers and it is entirely fitting that we should make this link”.

In recognition of the relationship, IOCA(UK) will initiate various fund raising activities to raise money for the Trust. As a start it has already announced that 50% of any late entry fees received for any of our three National Events will be donated to the Trust.

IOCA(UK) hopes that all its members will embrace this tie up and in due course help to contribute to such a worthy cause; links have been be established between the IOCA (UK) website and that of the Trust so that members can find out more about its activities, and fund raising activities will be announced in due course.

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