Ian Walker presents Team Athena with their award at the RYA Dinghy Show – 2 March 2019
Photo courtesy of JMST

The John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST), the charity set up in memory of 1996 Olympic Silver medallist John Merricks, has announced that applications are now open for the second annual Ian Atkins Keelboat Award.

This award has been made possible thanks to the generosity of US company, Dominion Enterprises, owners of the businesses that Ian ran for many years (including the boat sales websites boats.com and YachtWorld) and who wished to recognize his extraordinary career, on his retirement after over 40 years in the marine industry. Ian is also well known as an enthusiastic, active, keelboat sailor with an outstanding record of success in yachting both at home and abroad.

This Award is open to any sailor or sailors, under 25 years old, who require funding to help them transition from dinghies to keelboats. The award will be a bursary of up to £5000 to be awarded to the sailor(s) who most impress the awards panel consisting of Ian Atkins and the JMST Trustees.

This will be the second of 5 separate bursaries to be awarded annually. Applications each year will be judged on the track record, commitment, future potential and financial need of the applicants as well as the scope and ambition of the project or program.

The inaugural Ian Atkins Award in 2019, gave Team Athena Racing the opportunity to compete at the Nations Cup in San Francisco, the Women’s Match Racing Europeans, Youth Nationals as well as to retain their Marlow Ropes Women’s Match Racing National Championship title.

Octavia Owen, skipper of Team Athena commented, “Thanks to this award we are now ranked 13th in the Women’s International Match Race Rankings! We are very privileged to have received this award and it has opened so many doors along the way. We wish all the very best to the sailors applying this year!

Applications should be supported by references and sent by e-mail, specifying that the application is for the IAKA, to applications@jmst.org.uk.

Please include name and age of applicant(s), sailing club, details of the project or program including its goals and predicted impacts, specific financial need, plus any references (inc contact details). Applications from under 18s must include the contact details (including e-mail address) of their parent or guardian.

Application deadline 29th February 2020.