Doug Pearson has died, following a long illness at a nursing home at Stoke Flemming near Dartmouth on 4 January. Doug was a stalwart of the Merlin class and was never afraid to speak his mind on class issues. His first Merlin in the 50's was L'Allegro (53) with a 25 foot mast, which leaked like a sieve. This was followed by Honeydew (532),Quickstep (875),Dugout (1488),Dugout Two (1965),Dugout Again (2569), Chryslis (2941) with Away Day (3263) an NSM his final Merlin. Most of his sailing was on inland waters and he was,at various times,a member of Hampton SC, Ranelagh SC and Grafham Water SC, however Whitstable and Salcombe were favourite coastal venues. Doug was an early advocate of winter sailing, well before the days of wet or dry suits and I can well remember travelling pillion from Hampton to Aldenham on Doug's motorbike,clutching a change of clothing with the sail bag balanced on the petrol tank! Following retirement from the NPL Doug & Eileen moved to Dartmouth where he joined Dittisham SC. A lack of Merlin competion and advancing years saw Doug forsake the Merlin and he sailed a Squib for a number of years at Royal Dart. His wife Eileen died a number of years ago - he is survived by his daughter Jane.