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Eleventh North Sails Golf Day raises £9,522.77

Friday, 02 November 2007
An overcast but dry morning, greeted the 92 golfers who turned out for the eleventh North Sails Golf Day on Friday 26th October at Cams Hall in Fareham. John ‘Jonny’ 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 11 years ago the Golf Day has raised £108,287. This fantastic event always draws the support of former colleagues and friends of John’s, Olympic medallists, Americas Cup sailors, yacht designers and keen amateur sailors who turn out to play a good game of golf whilst remembering John and supporting the charity in his name. Ian Walker, Trustee of the JMST, America’s Cup skipper and tactician and double Olympic silver medallist, remarked, “This event has raised more than £100,000 over the past ten years and this money is ploughed back in to youth sailing for both individuals and community projects.” Neil Mackley from North Sails commented, “John had a particular interest in golf although it has to be said he was not very good at it! He would be very happy to know that we were all here having a good time on the golf course whilst raising so much money for a such a great cause. Thank you to everyone for supporting the day." Winner of the day Philip Allen scored 41 Stableford points and was presented with the North Sails Trophy and £150 of Pro Shop Vouchers. In second place was Robin Irving also with 41 Stableford points – the places were decided on count back – whilst third place went to Paul Hobson, manager of North Sails One Design. Meanwhile Sam Kendall seized the ladies trophy, a beautiful crystal putter, with 28 Stableford points. James Stagg seized this year’s Bandit Trophy – an annual trophy originally presented by Mark Tomson the first Bandit winner. Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Webb attended the event and presented all the prizes at the end of play. She commented, “Sailing is this country’s most successful sport and it is marvellous that the Trust supports youth sailing at a grass roots level.” Three Nearest the Pin competitions were on the course this year with some rather different prizes on offer. In recognition of the link, announced earlier in the year, between the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and the International Optimist Class Association (IOCA), North Sails One Design offered a brand new set of Optimist Sails for each of the three Nearest the Pin competitions to be donated by the winners to a club or individual of their choice. The Cambridge Garage Volvo Longest Drive Competition at the 10th was won by Ian Clark, his prize was an all new V70 Volvo for a weekend. A scene of much amusement was the lake outside the clubhouse where Veneziani / Bare Marine offered a bottle of wine to anybody who managed to get a ball in to the inflatable dinghy moored there. Many players tried in vain to land the practice balls into the boat however Hugo Ambrose – lat year’s winner showed everyone how it should be done by achieving a direct hit with his first shot! The competition raised over £360 for the JMST. Sail TV were filming out on the course and have produced a short video of the action which is on their website for all to view. www.sail.tv David Wybourne gave an introduction to the new telecoms service C-Tel, a new division of Cricket Telecom; an innovative and fast-growing communications company, specialising in personal, tailored communications services. C-Tel has been established specifically to support the John Merricks Sailing Trust, by donating a significant percentage of every one of their customers' telecoms bills to the Trust. Simon Fry, North Sails with help form Steve Hodges, Bare Marine performed a marvellous job as auctioneers, coaxing a grand total of £3,065, for an array of diverse prizes, from bidders in the auction. Results Men’s Winner – Philip Allen - North Sails Trophy - £150 pro shop vouches 2nd - Robin Irving - £100 pro shop vouchers 3rd - Paul Hobson - £50 pro shop vouchers Ladies Winner – Sam Kendall – Crystal Putter and £100 pro shop vouchers Bandit Trophy – James Stagg Photographs were taken by Ian Finlay and are displayed at www.ianfinlay.com. A selection of these are in the JMST web gallery. 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, every company and individual who donated prizes and the individual hole sponsors: Nautor; Raymarine Ltd; Paragon Yachting; Veneziani / Bare Marine; Thurman & Rye; Osmotech; Sail TV; Volvo; Cambridge Garage; RF Composites; Soluxion; Oyster Marine; Grapefruit Graphics; C-Tel; Craftinsure.

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