I started sailing around intermediate age in a Sabot which is a little like an Optimist. I had grown up around boats, helping my father on many home-built power boats and had been on many Keeler boat holidays as a younger child. I quickly moved on from the Sabot into 1 of many homemade catamarans. I would sit for hours talking through design ideas with my father then go and build them together. I raced a little at high school but was mainly interested in destination sails. From the age of 14 I would often get dropped off for the day with a friend and we would sail all over the harbour. One experience I can remember was taking my Catamaran out in pretty heavy conditions on a day with rough seas and gusts over 30 knots. We broke the mast in the Rangitoto Channel not far from the lighthouse. We were very lucky that some fishermen saw it happen and came to our rescue.

I joined the club while putting my children through the learn to sail programme. It has reinvigorated my passion for the sport. I really enjoy getting on the water each week, both racing and coaching. I think it is fantastic to see the young sailors coming through the programme applying what they learn.

When he is not coaching Merv is an associate at Product X Architecture.