Where in the world have you been: Patrick Burridge


Mimi Wright, features writer

From the shores of Lake Carlyle in Illinois to the coast of Italy, Patrick Burridge, senior, traveled to compete in the Lightning World Championship for sailing.

Burridge traveled within Italy to Florence, Rome and Bolognia for two and a half weeks during the summer of 2013. The first week he spent in Italy was for the sailing world championship event and then his mom and brother joined him for a week and half to sight-see in Italy.

Burridge’s father taught him to sail when he was around 10 years old. He has now been sailing for about seven years.

“My dad started sailing when he was a little kid, and when I got old enough he had me jump on board with him,” Burridge said. “I’ve been sailing ever since.”

Burridge and his father were required to go to districts in 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee, the first week of June to qualify for the North American championships in Houston, Texas, in late-August of 2012. Once they made it past districts and the North American Championship, they qualified for the world championship in Italy.

“We competed in our districts which is the Midwest and we won that with our third teammate and friend Ian,” Burridge said. “Then we went to the North American championships in August, 2012 and we qualified to go to Italy for the 2013 worlds [championship].”

Before competing in Italy, Burridge and his father trained for about two years on Lake Carlyle every Sunday to prepare. According to Burridge, the trip to Italy had a large impact on him because he had never been outside of the United States.

“It made me see the world differently and understand cultures and aspects of life,” Burridge said. “They do things differently over in [Italy] than in the U.S., so it made me appreciate [unique] things. In everyday life [Italians] are not as rushed as Americans would be. They are really relaxed about everything [and] enjoy everything they do. They are always outgoing and having a good time [and] are very nice and accommodating.”

Burridge placed 15 of 45 in the World Championship. In one race, Burridge and his father placed second to the eventual champion. The trip to Italy also gave Burridge the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. The closest person in age to Burridge was 25 years old, making Burridge one of the youngest competitors in the championship.

“My dad knew a lot of people from South America, a couple guys from Chile and Brazil,” Burridge said. “A lot of guys are from America, but there were some from Greece, Finland and Nigeria. I got to meet a lot of new people, and I made friends with them while we were there.”

Along with sailing in the competition, Burridge got to tour Italy and see famous monuments and buildings.

“When I visited Rome, [I saw] the Colosseum, different museums, Trevi Fountain and all the different monuments. All the historical pieces there made you look at the whole city differently. I would definitely go back,” Burridge said.

Burridge experienced a different culture that changed his view of the world and tested his strength in sailing.

“[The whole trip] was so memorable because I have never done anything like that before,” Burridge said. “The whole thing was so much fun, and I would love to do it again.”