January

2

Grafham Grand Prix
Grafham Water SC

02/01/2022 - 02/01/2022
January

8

Bloody Mary
Queen Mary SC

08/01/2022 - 08/01/2022
January

22

King George Gallop
King George SC

22/01/2022 - 22/01/2022
February

5

Tiger Trophy
Rutland SC

05/02/2022 - 06/02/2022
March

25

Staunton Harold SC Open Meeting
Staunton Harold SC

25/03/2022 - 26/03/2022

John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland SC

A warm front from the Atlantic is scheduled to disperse the snow and ice in the East Midlands over the coming week, providing plenty of water and gentle to moderate breezes. All that is required along with historically successful regatta organisation of Rutland Sailing Club, to make this year's Tiger Trophy in aid of the John Merricks Sailing Trust another Great Lakes hit.

More than 100 boats have already entered over 30 classes with the 420 and 29er leading the numbers. Fireballs, Laser Radials, Phantoms, RS 400s and Scorpions are also looking strong. It is hoped to attract the Topper fleet this year with the decision to increase the PY handicap cut off to all dinghies under 1300 instead of 1200. The exceptions to this are for boats sailed by club and sailability members.

Amongst the competitors, is one of the 7 torchbearers who lit the Olympic Torch and spoilt the bookies plans at the 2012 Olympics. Callum Airlie sailing a 420 with Joe Butterworth and currently at the front of the UK Youth Squad was selected for this honour by double gold medalist Shirley Robertson. Traveling from East Lothian for this and most other major regattas, Callum was the first Scottish sailor to win the Optimist British and Open Championship in 2009 and 2010. The John Merricks Sailing Trust presented a new Far East Optimist supplied by Hartley Boats to the UK Optimist Class at the Nationals at Weymouth in 2007. It was presented to the highest placed sailor in the Regatta fleet with a boat over 5 years old. Callum age 12 was the lucky recipient. "it was winning the John Merricks Oppie that really gave my sailing the boost. It just took off from there..." This is exactly what the Trust is about.

He will join Rod Carr as guest at the Tiger Dinner on Saturday evening. Rod Carr CBE, past CEO of the RYA, the person intimately associated with British Olympic sailing over the last 20 years and who helped deliver a successful Olympic regatta to the World last year as 'Field of Play' manager will be recounting some of his Olympic experiences.

As a Trustee of the John Merricks Sailing Trust he will also provide an opportunity on Saturday evening for sailors like Callum, under 25, looking to discuss the possibilities of 'leg-up' funding to further their sailing careers.

A new trophy will also be presented at the Tiger Dinner. The 'Tony Everard Trophy' in memory of the man who gave John his first 420 and his chance of a successful sailing career will be presented to the overall leading boat after the three races on Saturday. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased in advance at www.tiger-trophy.com with a third of the proceeds going towards the Trust along with 50% of the entry fee and a sizeable proportion of the bar profits, helped by Everards Brewery who are supplying the famous TIGER beer.

Will the 420's again emerge as the most successful class in the Tiger, following their 7 wins. This included John himself, Chris Draper now helming Americas Cup 72 Luna Rossa, Nick Rogers, Richard Percy, Davy Jones, Graham Viles and Stuart Bithell, 470 Silver medalist at London 2012.

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