SAILORS swapped their tillers for drivers as they stepped out onto the golf course in memory of a yachting great.

The 19th North Sails Golf Day raised £5,134 for the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) which awards grants to promising young sailors.

John ‘Jonny’ Merricks worked for sailmaker North Sails and the annual golf day, organised each year with the help of the Seahorse Golf Society, was set up to raise money for a Trust started in his name.

John Merricks, who won silver in the 470 class at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, died in a car accident in 1997.

Since its inception 18 years ago the event in his memory has raised more than £177,000 for the JMST.

The 2015 golf day at the Cams Hall course in Fareham, attracted a field of 64 including former colleagues and friends of John’s, as well as top sailors and marine industry figures, including Iain MacDonald-Smith, Phil Harmer, Jonathan Taylor, Ian Roman and Stephen Park, who enjoyed a round in warm, dry conditions.

Luke Patience, Olympic Silver medallist at London 2012, and British Sailing Team mate Ed Wright, also wielded their clubs in support of the trust.

Results Winner - Charlie Cumbley - 42 Stableford points, 2nd - Frank Gerbe, 3rd Ian Clark

1st Lady - Tessa Richardson - 31 Stableford points

Best Team: Paul Hobson; Ed Wright; Charlie Cumbley & Sam Richmond

Bandit Trophy: Frank Gerber

The Contender Longest Drive: Pete Redmond (Contender generously offer extra donation of a £1 per yard of the winning drive adding £292 to the funds raised).

The Grapefruit Graphics Nearest the Pin: Frank Gerber

After the play Jim Saltonstall, legendary racing coach, gave a speech outlining the work of JMST and Mark Covell conducted a charity auction.

Neil Mackley from North Sails thanked all the companies who sponsored the event or donated prizes – these included: Contender; Dimension Polyants; Osmotech; RF Composites; TT Rigging; Grapefruit Graphics; Toolkit Websites; Soluxion IT; Ocean Images; Craftinsur,North Sails, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing; Louis Vuitton Americas Cup; BAR Racing; Musto; Henri Lloyd; Oakley; Trudy Cook, Ocean Art; Bainbridge; Andark; RYA; and Ye Olde Whyte Harte, Hamble.