Ed Baird started sailing at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club when he was 9 years old. Now 58, Baird is still on the water and recognized as one of the most accomplished sailors in the world.
He has won world championships in the Laser and J/24 classes. He was ranked the No. 1 sailor on the 1995 Omega World Match Race Ranking List and won the 1995 World Match Racing Championship. He was named the 1996 yachtsman of the year.
In 1996, he coached Team New Zealand, which won the prestigious America's Cup. In 2007, Baird was helmsman for America's Cup winner Alinghi, which helped him earn world sailor of the year.
The list of his sailing accomplishments is long, which is why he will be inducted into the World Sailing Hall of Fame on Oct. 30 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. Baird will be one of nine sailors inducted for Lifetime Achievement.
Just because Baird is being inducted in the Hall of Fame doesn't mean he is done sailing. Last week he participated in the TP52 World Championship in Menorca, Spain, where he helped Quantum Racing win. This week he will compete in Portugal.
A St. Petersburg native and USF graduate, Baird took time between races to reflect on his life as a sailor, what it means to enter the Hall of Fame and his plans for the future.
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Source : Tampa Bay News