April Sailor of the Month: Eric Holden
Published on May 8th, 2014
Here’s a roundup of activity from Sail Canada….
ISAF World Cup Mallorca was top of the agenda in April for members of the Canadian Sailing team as a record setting number of sailors flocked to Palma to flex their elite muscles. Isabella Bertold (RVYC) performed consistently well against a stacked Radial roster, placing 11th overall while Greg Douglas (RCYC) showcased several top ten race results throughout the event finishing 12th in the robust Finn fleet. Robert Davis (KYC) battled with the Laser big guns posting two top 5 scores ultimately wrapping up his event in 18th.
ISAF World Cup Hyères marked the last leg of World Cup circuit with 49erFX team Rafuse/Boyd putting forth a solid performance of 19th overall while on the Nacra course, Ramsay/Girke continue to put in as much time as possible on their new boat, placed 31st of 77 boats.
The Melges 32 Miami Winter Series wrapped up at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club with ‘Hedgehog’ claiming the overall title. Canadian Olympians Richard Clarke & Mike Wolfs (Silver medallist, Athens) were among the winning team of the three-part regatta series led by Bermuda’s Alec Cutler.
Touted as the toughest leg of the 2013-14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Canadian skipper Eric Holden led his Henri Lloyd team to another 2nd place finish on Leg 10, securing enough points to regain the overall lead. Not only did Holden challenge GREAT Britain for the win, they battled the best with only 13 crew members versus the 18 crew on board GREAT Britain.
Leg 10 consisted of a 5,600 mile grueling battle across the North Pacific eventually docking in San Francisco mid-April. Very unique to other big boat racing, the only professional sailors on the Clipper boat are the skippers who lead their amateur crew around the world. Eric Holden reflects on last months’ challenging stage saying, “We are a strong group and despite us having a smaller crew for this race, everyone gave it their all to achieve the second fastest crossing of the Pacific Ocean in the Clipper Race’s nine race history. It’s an incredible team achievement.”
Clipper race teams crossed the finish line for Race 11 of 16 in Panama this week. Team Henri Lloyd takes 2nd line honors once again cozying up tight against rival GREAT Britain. Eric remarks on the overwhelming support he has received from fellow Canadians, “I did get some visitors from Vancouver to see us in from Race 10 and that was really nice. I hear about how everyone back home is following the race and glued to the race viewer but to have them come and cheer us in was something special.”
A humble gentleman with unwavering commitment and dedication to his craft inspires a nation and handily earns Eric Holden the title of Canadian Sailor of the Month! Eric has previously been awarded November Sailor of the Month and was the recipient of the 2013 Gerry Roufs Award.
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Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms. Sail Canada encourages the submission of noteworthy Canadian sailing activities to firstname.lastname@example.org.