John Merricks Sailing Trust to wind up after 25 years

The Trustees of the John Merricks Sailing Trust have announced their intention to dissolve the charity, and apply its remaining funds to a purpose that will continue to honour the memory of Olympic dinghy sailor John Merricks, who died in a car crash in 1997.

John’s love of the sport was sparked at an early age when he learned to sail at school.  He was helped to Olympic success by the support of a local benefactor, and the Trust’s residual funds will be gifted to one or more organisations that can provide a lasting legacy that will continue the Trust’s object to help young people to achieve their potential through the sport of sailing.

Ian Walker, John’s former sailing partner and chair of the Trustees, said: “Thanks to the generosity of so many in the last 25 years the Trust has made grants totalling £730,000 to 285 individuals and organisations in John’s name. This has funded the purchase of 235 boats and boards for young sailors and given many young sailors opportunities they never might have had.

“However, with the passage of time since John’s death, and the effect of the Covid pandemic on the charity’s current and future income, the Trustees have decided that the 25th anniversary of John’s accident, which will be in October 2022, is a fitting point at which to wind up the charity and dispose of its remaining assets.  We intend to use the residual assets of the Trust (approx. £200k) to fund a continuing legacy to honour John’s name.”

The Trustees are inviting applications from individuals, other smaller charities and sailing organisations that might accept a financial award and provide a legacy in John’s name that will last for at least 10 years. Preference will be given to dinghy or windsurfing initiatives, however, all proposals that fit the objectives of the charity will be considered.

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