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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

Rick Merriman Named US Sailor of the Week
By US Sailing
Feb 7, 2008, 11:50

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Rick Merriman
Dedication is something Rick Merriman does not take lightly. As an 11-year-old in St. Petersburg, FL, he started sailing Optis and quickly earned his way to the highest level, even winning the Opti Worlds in Turkey.

He graduated to Lasers as a teen and brought his talent and dedication to the United States Naval Academy where he was voted All American Skipper three times before graduating in 1985.

Accomplished sailors don’t get there alone, and Rick was no exception, owing a lot of his success to his dedicated parents, Dick and Kathy. Sadly, his mother passed away last week, just before the start of US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR. “I did it for her,” he said of making the decision to race.

Rick remembers sailing in the Opti Worlds in Turkey, his parents spending their vacation in an unheated hotel room, both suffering a stomach bug from the local conditions. Unwavering, his mother supported his passion until the very end, only interested in his goals and placing her health condition secondary.

He dropped out of the Miami regatta two days before it ended to attend his mother’s services but still placed 10th overall. Now he is looking forward to the Star Worlds in Miami April 7th with crew Brian Sharp, who seems to match Rick’s talent and dedication. “Our fourth day sailing together was the first day of the OCR,” said Rick. “The main goal now is to win the Star Worlds.”

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