Donald Lawson, a local Baltimore sailor, is attempting to make history as the first African American to race solo around world in the “Ultimate Solo Challenge.” The Velux 5 Oceans is a 30,000 nautical mile solo circumnavigation race that begins October 17, 2010 in La Rochelle, France. Although Donald will be competing in this race alone he needs your support to make history.
Donald developed a passion for sailing at the age of six when he attended a summer camp at the Living Classroom in Baltimore. He has been sailing ever since. Attending Morgan State University, Donald earned his degree in Industrial Engineering though his passion for sailing continued to drive his path. Donald has been a sailing instructor at the US Naval Academy and Baltimore’s Downtown Sailing Center as well as doing offshore deliveries and competing on the Chesapeake Bay. This past year he was a member of the sailing team that won the CBYRA High Point trophy for the Multihull Class.
Living in Baltimore, Donald has seen many ocean racing boats, both solo and team sailors, visit Baltimore’s harbor. Inspired by these sailors, Donald always believed that with determination, passion and will power your dreams can come true and that one day he to would have the opportunity to participate at the top level of the sport.
Since 1982, the Velux 5 Oceans (once known as the “BOC Challenge” and the “Around Alone”) has run every four years and is known as the longest and toughest event for any individual sport. Only 90 competitors have completed this race since its inception. Training for this event goes beyond the ability to single hand a 60 foot racing boat. Competitors must endure the mental, physical, physiological and psychological challenges throughout the seven months of being alone. They will become their own navigator, weather expert, cook, sailmaker and computer wizard. The training is intense but worth every ounce of Donald’s attention.
Donald’s quest has begun in earnest. Having already completed courses in safety at sea, emergency and survival, celestial navigation and first aid he must now become an expert at all the mechanical systems that will be aboard his boat. When he’s not hitting the books Donald is getting himself in top physical condition.
Although a solo race, Donald cannot make history alone. With his support team in place they are working hard to secure an Eco Open 60 for the race. They need your grass roots support to be at the starting line in October. Go to the Donald Lawson Racing website to make a donation to his campaign.
Corporate sponsors will benefit from the local, national and global media coverage as well as the race’s global television programming, corporate hospitality and PR. His team is looking to partner with several corporations who can provide in-kind services for the team and funding. This is a world class event with stops in France, South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and the United States. Your brand logo will be seen throughout the world. Contact Beth Perry (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional sponsorship information.
Follow Donald’s journey on his Facebook Fan Page or in the coming months on his website blog. Become part of history with Donald. Let’s all support this local sailor.