The John Merricks Sailing Trust has been in operation for twenty-one years and has helped many young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals. The charitable trust was set up by those closest to John to do some good in his name and further the memory of such a remarkable person. Many people gained from all that John gave and many also helped John to achieve all that he did in such a short time. Indeed if it were not for this help John may have fallen short of his aspirations. The Trust's aim is to provide help to those young people who display similar drive, talent and commitment to sailing as John, but who perhaps themselves need support to set them on their way to fulfilling their dreams.

John Merricks Sailing Trust

The History of the Trust

Leading Olympic sailor and 1996 Olympic silver medallist John Merricks died tragically in a car accident whilst competing in the 1997 Melges 24 European Championships in Italy. John was an example to all through his exceptional skill and down to earth good nature.

The John Merricks Sailing Trust has been set up by those closest to John to do some good in his name and further the memory of such a remarkable person.

The Aim of the Trust

The objectives of the Trust are to advance the education and physical and mental development of young people in need, in the United Kingdom, (under the age of 25 years) with a view to promoting the achievement of their potential through the sport of sailing.

Ben Ainslie, Patron of the John Merricks Sailing Trust

Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor ever, Ben Ainslie, (Beijing 2008 – Gold – Finn Class; 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 support a 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.

Sarah Ayton, Patron of the John Merricks Sailing Trust

Sarah Ayton OBE is a Double Olympic Sailing Gold Medalist and Rolex World sailor of the year 2016. A motivational speaker with over a decade of experience, she has inspired many corporate teams to be more successful.

The Trustees

Dennis Merricks

John's father with whom he started sailing in a Mirror dinghy on Rutland Water at the age of 11.

Ian Walker

John's 1996 Atlanta Olympics sailing partner who with John won the Silver medal in the 470 class.

Camilla Bullock

A sailor herself, Camilla was John's girlfriend.

Derek Clark

John and Ian's technical support in the run up to the 1996 Olympics.

Rod Carr

RYA Olympic Manager at the 1996 Olympics and who saw John through his progression from youth sailing to the Olympic circuit.

Jim Saltonstall

Was in charge of the RYA Youth sailing scheme and was the person who talent spotted John in his Mirror dinghy in his youth, and had afterwards kept a close eye on all John’s sailing exploits.

Nick Bubb

Nick joined the Trustees in September 2014, he was the recipient of an award from the JMST back in 2003 to assist with his Mini Transat campaign. After a long offshore sailing career, he spent time in the finance sector and now works for the wildlife conservation charity Fauna and Flora International connecting their global network of partners.

The John Merricks Sailing Trust is a registered charity no: 1076036

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Total amount awarded in twenty-four years is over £730,000 through 285 grants

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