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Introducing the John Merricks Keelboat Academy

QMSC launches the John Merricks Keelboat Academy for young sailors. 

The John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) has selected Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC) to receive a significant grant that memorialises and honours the enthusiasm of Olympic sailor John Merricks. The grant will enable the purchase of RS21s and the launch of the John Merricks Keelboat Academy.

QMSC was one of eight clubs selected for the legacy awards announced at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show. The recipients are set to continue the trust’s objective of helping young people achieve their potential through the sport of sailing and to create a lasting legacy for John Merricks.
QMSC Treasurer, David Bithell, who, with Club Secretary Tony Bishop, joined JMST Chair of Trustees, Ian Walker, on stage to receive the award, said:

‘We are hugely proud to receive this award and the opportunity it presents for our club to continue inspiring young sailors in memory of John Merricks. The club is looking forward to launching the Keelboat Academy in Spring 2022’.

John Merricks Sailing Trust - Home | Facebook

The club plans to create a centre of excellence for keel boating, building a fleet of six RS21 keelboats. QMSC is one of the few inland waters to have the infrastructure for keelboats, has great transport connections to the whole of the UK and the ability to host multiple activities upon 700 acres of water, all within the M25.

The John Merricks Keelboat Academy is at the heart of the plan. A focus for those aged 16-25, the academy will introduce young people to sailing keelboats and help develop passionate young sailors. They will be introduced to this exciting sport, trained in seamanship skills, and be given the opportunity to participate in sailing events. QMSC will provide affordable membership and activities, and help the young adults to grow their experience and competence in keelboats.

To be first in-line for details on the John Merricks Keelboat Academy please email