Eight Bells: Lal Burridge
Published on March 27th, 2016
Robert “Lal” Burridge passed away on Saturday March 26th with his wife, Pat, and family at his side after a brief illness at the age of 85. Lal, as everyone knew him, an accomplished attorney, was synonymous with Lightning racing starting in 1966 and continued well into the 2000’s. When not teaching his soon to be 2-time Lightning North American Champion son Matt Burridge the ropes, he was serving on International RC Juries and as Vice-President of the International Lightning Class for 15 years.
While racing in scores of World and North American events, his successful racing career included winning the Lighting Masters Championship and countless other Districts and regional events. Lal was heavily involved in the creation of Carlyle Sailing Association in 1971 located outside of St. Louis serving as Vice Commodore and Commodore plus a board member for decades. When his competitive career was over, Lal was always found at the hoist helping others and toasting a frosty one by the keg with competitors.
One of Lal’s priceless marks on sailing was his influence over an an entire generation of younger racers, me included, that today stretches from coast-to-coast and includes many world and national champs from dozens of classes. Lal’s booming voice, fun and eccentric personality and influence on so many will sail on for generations to come.
– Rick Bernstein, Chairman of the Board, Carlyle Sailing Association