Don Erickson - Sailor Spotlight


Today we celebrate Santana 20 sailor Don Erickson.  Don had seemingly done a bit of everything before he started sailing in the late 1980s; photographer, scuba diver, golfer, airplane pilot, and a pharmacist for a career - his first race boat, a Ranger 29, was called Val 10 (Valium 10mg).


Don got his start with the Santana 20 in the early 1990s when he partnered with Mark Fortier with the now infamous Spy vs. Spy Santana 20 – the boat painted black on its port side and white on it’s starboard.  As a member of Fleet 19 (Eugene, OR), Don became a force to be reckoned with, sailing regattas for years - including the 1994 Class Championships at Colorado’s Lake Dillon where he placed 5th.


However Don’s on-shore efforts have eclipsed his sailing, most notably his organizing of regattas and other Eugene Yacht Club events.  Some broken bones and other medical conditions had slowed Don’s sailing so he channeled his energy and spirit into organizing the best events ever.  His resume includes several Santana 20 Class Championships - including the very successful 2008 SantanaRama, a Commodore’s Ball, Skippers & Mates Dinners, The Rock Party, Cinco de Mayo.  Most recently, he took the helm of the Memorial Day Regatta, setting a new party standard again by including an extra night of food, music, wine and beer.


Don is heralded throughout the fleet; when Don gets a vision of how things should be, it happens.  Determined to have Santana 20 hull #1 at the 2008 “Santana Rama” Class Championships, he bought her and sent his son to the east coast to retrieve it!


Even if Don isn’t racing at an event, he is always at Eugene Yacht Club supporting the sailors and checking in with all of us.  Besides owning The One, he is arguably the number One Santana supporter and organizer.


Thank you Don.


The Santana 20 Class Association


2008 Interview of Don Erickson by Andrew Kerr