Interview a sailor – Eric



School of Business

2009 intake

  • A Professional Photographer and an Outdoor Adventurer before joining Sailing.
  • Has sailed in numerous regattas including China Cup International Regatta and Top of the Gulf Regatta and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity given.
  • Was awarded the Levin Angsana Award for his exceptional attitude he has shown in Sailing.


Eric Loh is a Jib Trimmer Specialist and he is affectionately known as the Tank! He is difficult to take down both literally as well as metaphorically when alcohol is involved; so guys, DO NOT CHALLENGE THE TANK!

He is currently the Marketing Director of SMU Sailing and we are fortunate to be able to interview him and live to tell the tale! We thus present this exclusive interview:

Why did you choose to join SMU Sailing?

I chose to join SMU Sailing because a good friend of mine introduced me to the sport. Back then I was still heavily involved in photography outside school and was looking for a community as well as a sport to join so that I could “belong” to.

What attracted you to the sport?

My friend who introduced me to the sport said that it would be fun and there was lots to learn on boats; like how there was a million and one things on the boat that you could tweak to make it go faster. She knew I was the type of guy who would love to be challenged both intellectually and physically; and she was right, I got hooked after Sailing 101.

At first, sailing to a greenhorn like me was baffling. Having pure strength is not much of an advantage either since more strength does not equate to more boat speed. Getting the boat to go faster is always a balance; the ability to control and the ability to read what the sails are telling you.

What is your favorite position in a keelboat?

My favorite position on a keelboat is the jib and spinnaker trim, something that I’ve gravitated to since learning how to sail in SMU. I love the thrill of handling the raw fury of the wind with the spinnaker especially when it blows up to 15-20 knots. Being on the jib trim also requires a sailor to be proficient in executing maneuvers and I take pride in getting it done with as little mistakes as possible.

How many regattas have you participated in? Which was your most memorable regatta and why? 

I’ve participated in about 10 regattas since I joined in year 2. My most memorable regatta was the Top of The Gulf Regatta in 2011. During that regatta, I was in a team with 3 Australians who were sailors all their lives. Back then, I only had about a year of experience on keelboats and was considered absolutely green. However I had the most amazing experience because the Australians brought me up to speed on competitive racing at its finest.

Indeed, Sailing took me around the world to compete with and meet some of the best sailors and I am glad to be in the sport.

Has SMU sailing enhanced your university life?

SMU Sailing has really given me the opportunity to put all my business school lessons in action. Planning a regatta, communicating with other boaters, marketing sailing events are just some of the things that I’ve done as the marketing and communications person for SMU sailing. I urge all of you to experience something new in University and Sailing is definitely one of them.

Read about Gwen