Over £15,000 was raised for the John Merricks Sailing Trust at last Friday's North Sails Golf Day

A wet start did not deter any of the 96 golfers who turned out for the ninth North Sails Golf Day in aid of the John Merricks Sailing Trust on Friday 28 October at Cams Hall in Fareham. They were rewarded with a fine, breezy but warm day. Former colleagues of John Merricks, Olympic medallists, America’s Cup sailors, yacht designers, keen amateur sailors and friends all turned out to remember 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 3 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.

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. Seven golfers duly obliged, making the Trust a magnificent £7,000 alone.


Men’s Winner – Hugo Ambrose – North Sails Trophy – £150 pro shop vouchers

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