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Ian Walker presents JMST awards to promising young sailors
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:00

Ian WalkerAt the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show Ian Walker, skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Trustee of the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST), acknowledged the achievement of 13 aspiring young sailors. Through the RYA OnBoard programme, these youngsters have been donated boats and a board by the JMST after being selected from over 100 applications for showing lots of enthusiasm, talent and commitment to the sport. The JMST are supporting promising young sailors by donating over 50 junior pathway boats and boards over the next five years.

RYA OnBoard Operations Officer Cat Ferguson explains:  “This is the first year of a very exciting new partnership with the JMST and we were absolutely delighted to welcome Ian Walker to recognise these ambitious sailors. Many of them are already out competing every weekend and without the use of their very own boat or board, this would not have been possible. One of the youngsters has even named his Topper, Atlanta 96 to commemorate John Merricks’ silver medal.”

Youngsters who have been selected for RYA OnBoard JMST awards are:

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Bart’s Bash attracts 400 clubs – and counting!
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 00:00

Bart’s Bash attracts 400 clubs – and counting!Organisers of Bart’s Bash announced the sign up of the 400th sailing club, only two months after the first announcement of the event. At a sign up rate that continues to match just short of seven clubs a day worldwide, the world record attempt is on track to easily become the largest sailing event ever on the planet. Messages from some of the biggest names in the sailing world continue to be sent through to the Bart’s Bash organising team. “What a fantastic idea,” said New Zealander Sir Russell Coutts KNZM CBE, five-times America’s Cup winner, Olympic Gold medallist and previous ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year.  

“It’s for a great cause and I think everyone’s going to have a great time.” As a parting thought, he added: “It’s going to be interesting to see who the winner is!”

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club provided a milestone breakthrough at 300 clubs and then, just before the two month mark, Club Nautic Arenal from Mallorca, Spain pushed entries through the 400 club marker.

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Volunteer watch tower demolished by storm
(1 vote, average 1.00 out of 5)
Thursday, 27 February 2014 11:03

Volunteer watch tower demolished by stormThe National Coastwatch Institution, Lyme Bay Lookout has been destroyed by storms on the night of 14 February.

The lookout, in the garden of the Burton Cliff Hotel, Burton Bradstock had previously withstood a force 10 storm on 23 December 2013 during daytime, when it was manned by two watchkeepers, so the station management was not unduly worried by the predicted high winds on 14 February.

However when a neighbour, Billy Bragg, the well-known singer, went to examine his property late that night he discovered that the roof of the lookout had been blown away. He immediately turned off the electricity supply, which came from his house and salvaged the two obvious marine band VHF radios, which were wet due to exposure to the rain.

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The Tiger roars for John Merricks Trophy
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00

The Tiger roars for John Merricks Trophy 166 boatloads of winter warriors from all over the UK came to Rutland for this year’s two-day ‘challenge’ for the John Merricks Tiger Trophy. 
Half of the proceeds of the event go to the Trust, established after John’s death to support youth sailing. This was also the final regatta of the closely fought GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter series and SailRacer provided their Sail Trackers to monitor the situation, gratefully sponsored by Rule 26.

The largest British lake avoided the high tides and snow and the sun shone all weekend but it could not avoid the strengthening south easterly wind on Saturday. This decimated the fleet – with 45 boats finishing from over 100 starters. AP over H was flown after race one, meaning no more racing was possible on Saturday.

The caterers were ready for the black tie Tiger Dinner with Tiger beer supplied by local brewers Everards. Before Dennis Merricks, John’s father thanked everyone for coming; the Commodore was presented with the ‘John Merricks Tiger Club’ trophy, newly introduced to encourage greater club participation.

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Nautilus Yachting offers RYA Dinghy Show visitors show discounts on sailing holidays
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 00:00
nautilusNautilus Yachting is offering show discounts of at least 5% on its 2014 sailing holidays to visitors to the RYA Dinghy Show (1 - 2nd March,  Alexandra Palace).

A week in Greece on a 3-cabin Bavaria 36 yacht (sleeping up to 7) as part of a flotilla sailing the Ionian islands from Palairos on the Greek mainland costs £1748 with a show discount when booked at the show (cost per yacht for departures 1st/8th/15th or 22nd June). Nautilus can arrange flights for an additional cost.

Nautilus's RYA Learn to Sail sail training holidays in beautiful Kefalonia are popular with dinghy sailors looking to move into sailing yachts. The courses follow the RYA syllabus and certificates are awarded at the end of the week to those meeting the requirements of the courses. Students sleep on board during the 6-day course and as well as sail training, there are opportunities for swimming and snorkelling. Nautilus has special offers on early season RYA Learn to Sail courses; a week in May is available at the special rate of just £540 pp/week, including tuition, breakfast, lunches and two evening meals onboard.

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