£15,000 John Merricks Sailing Trust Legacy Award
to help retain junior sailors

SYC has received £15,000 from the John Merricks Sailing Trust, to buy six new RS Teras to further boost its thriving Junior Section.

With upwards of 50 sailors out on Fridays in the summer, the Club has a long history of developing enthusiastic sailors, both those who just want to have fun on the water and those who enjoy competitive racing. Sailing at this stage is really all about having fun, and whilst for many people that is being on the water with friends, for others, as they develop their skills, it becomes about competitive racing.

With a fleet of Club–owned Optimists, Juniors have traditionally moved on to Toppers and Teras as they grow in experience. However, it has sometimes been hard to retain Juniors who are keen on racing at this stage, because buying competitive boats can be expensive, and inevitably there ends up being a range of boats which are not evenly matched.

The six new RS Teras – which will have Sport sails as well as the smaller Mini sail – will add to the existing twelve Teras owned by members at the Club, and strengthen the burgeoning one-design fleet.

The award is designed to provide an accessible step-up to Juniors as they grow in size and their knowledge and understanding of the sport deepens, to help keep them inspired, learning and having fun.

Now with a fleet of 18+ Teras at the Club, this really strengthens SYC’s ability to retain junior sailors in the sport. This year, events run at SYC will include an Open Meeting for Teras and Toppers on 11th June, and the opportunity to participate in the Junior Open Regatta, running for its second year from 18th-21st August, which is open to all levels of junior sailors. And finally, the RS Tera Worlds are at WPNSA in 2022, providing an amazing chance for one-design racing in large fleets for those wishing to travel.

Helen Scott, Junior Committee Chair at Starcross Yacht Club, said “This is fantastic news for the Club, and for junior sailing in Devon. The RS Tera is a really nicely designed boat, suitable for sailors between 8 and 15 years old, and enables high quality competitive one-design racing. We are honoured to receive this award from John Merricks Sailing Trust, and delighted to be able to offer this next step for sailors growing out of Optimists to continue in their sailing and having fun at the Club, particularly those whose parents are not sailors.”

Ian Walker from John Merricks Sailing Trust said “The JMST Trustees know Starcross to be a well-run club which has historically produced some excellent sailors. We could see that the club had a clear need in order to retain young sailors and introduce them to racing and they had a good, sustainable plan to address that need. The Trustees had confidence that the new RS Teras would be well managed and would create a lasting legacy in John’s name.”

by Paul Wyeth:

  • Top: Ian Walker (JMST Trustee, RYA Director of Racing and double Olympic medallist) presenting the award to SYC representatives Jack Solly and Tom Solly
  • Lower: The JMST Legacy Awards presentation at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show on 27 February 2022

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