Sailor of the Week - January 21 - January 27
This week’s Sailor of the Week, 15-year-old Eric Lawrence of Hollywood, FL says he “just likes to help people.” While recently competing at the 2008 Orange Bowl Regatta at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, FL he came to the aid of a fellow sailor who was having trouble with her boat and helped her ashore. Eric returned to the racing and placed 16th overall in a field of 110 Laser Radials at the regatta, but more importantly, he was honored with US SAILING’s Magnus Liljedahl Sportsmanship Award for his good deed.
Eric started sailing on his dad’s catamaran at just three years old and by eight he was racing his own Opti. He enjoys competition, being on the water and in control of the boat, as well as traveling and making new friends at regattas. Every weekend he commutes two hours to practice with his current coaches Anna Tunnicliffe and Brad Funk, and races in up to six major regattas each year. He credits the motivation for his rigorous sailing schedule to his parents and coaches who encourage him at every turn. Last year he finished 2nd at the Orange Bowl, while sailing the 4.7. He has recently moved up to racing the full-rig Laser Radial. For fun, Eric enjoys sailing with his family on his grandfather’s iceboat, the “Jack Frost” in upstate New York, where they reach speeds up to 70mph downwind! When asked about his possible “Olympic aspirations” he modestly says that he’d prefer to help his older brother (Luke Lawrence) with his Olympic campaign. Eric’s own aspirations include becoming a naval architect and starting his own boat building company; his sites are set on getting the education needed to reach that goal. In the meantime, he looks forward to competing at the upcoming OCR and will, no doubt, help more people along the way.