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East Antrim Topper Sailor Among UK Youths Awarded Boats & Boards for 2022

29th December 2021
File image of East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough
File image of East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough Credit: East Antrim Boat Club/Facebook

Topper racer Connie Wilson, who sails out of East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland, is one of 14 young sailors across the UK who have been awarded their own boats and boards donated by the John Merricks Sailing Trust.

Launched in 2013, the partnership through RYA OnBoard supports youngsters who display enthusiasm, drive, talent and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals.

Each year, at least one young sailor is selected from each of the ten RYA regions and Home Countries to receive two years of exclusive use of the boat or board.

The equipment is then be donated to the sailor’s original club or training centre to benefit club training programmes and enable other young sailors to benefit in the future and progress into club, regional and national racing activities.

As OnBoard’s official charity partner, JMST have donated over £300,000 worth of funding through the scheme.

The JMST seeks to help young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals and was set up in the memory of 1996 Olympic silver medalist, John Merricks.

Recently, JMST announced their intention to dissolve the charity. The remaining funds will be applied to a purpose that will continue to honour the memory of John Merricks, and the trust’s residual funds will be gifted to one of more organisations that can provide a legacy that will continue its objective to help young people achieve their potential through the sport of sailing.

Despite this news, the JMST and OnBoard partnership will continue for another two years.

East Antrim Boat Club recently enjoyed a great turnout for its Christmas regatta, as reported on Afloat.ie.

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