(3 May, 2011) - The mission of the Southport Sailing Foundation is to help prepare sailors, primarily youth and young adults, for national and international competitions. Other goals include introducing people to the joys of sailing and promoting respect for all aspects of the sport. With this objective in mind, we continue our series of interviews with famous sailors who are also parents of young and upcoming sailors. Their advice is priceless!
This month we talk to Terry Hutchinson, who joined Artemis Racing as helmsman for the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas and the RC44 Championship Tour in 2009. That same year he also added the Audi MedCup circuit title with TP52 Quantum Racing to his impressive list of accomplishments, which includes winning the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2007 (5-0) as Tactician of Emirates Team New Zealand. Terry's resume also includes J24, Farr 40 and IMS World Champion titles.
CLEVER PIG: How and when did you start sailing?
TERRY HUTCHINSON: I was 3 years old and because I was the youngest of three, and inevitably the most annoying, my parents stuck me in our little Dyer dinghy attached to a long painter and let me have it for long summer days. From there it was on to Lasers and then I420s and college sailing.
CP: How did you transition from a young aspiring sailor to a world-renowned top-level professional?
TH: The beauty of loving your job is that you never get bored or tired of practicing. I was always motivated to go sailing. It was easy for me to do and I was really lucky to have the support of my parents when I was younger and now my wife and family. Each day on a boat there is something new and different and regardless you always learn. Some lessons come harder than the others, but in the end when you put together a good regatta or can see the progress of things that you have worked on, it is well worth the effort.
CP: Do you enjoy being involved in sailing as a parent?
TH: Yes and no. I want my kids to love sailing for what it is to them, not to me. The worst thing that can happen is for a coach or competitor to compare my child to me or set certain expectations because Elias, Katherine or Aden are my children. If they love the sport and the independence that sailing brings to them, then that is enough for me.
CP: How does your sailing expertise affect your kids' sailing?
TH: It doesn't. I still get on the boat and they tell me what to do. Nothing is different on land or on the water.
CP: What advice would you give to all the young sailors who are at the beginning of their careers?
TH: Enjoy the sport and keep it for what it is at this point in your life. Sailing is a life sport and you can achieve many great things, but the most important things will be the people you meet and the relationships you make through this great sport.
CP: What advice would you give to parents of young sailors?
TH: Remember that sailing is supposed to be fun. If you ram the sport down a child's throat to the point that they don't enjoy the sailing, it will chase them away forever. Not every child is going to be an Olympian or a World Champion but that should not be the goal. If they have fun and enjoy it, you will increase the chances of medals....
CP: What projects are you working on and what's in your future?
TH: Currently I am at the beginning of the 34th America's Cup program with Artemis Racing. We are a Swedish team representing the KSSS out of Stockholm. The game has changed dramatically and it is an incredible challenge and opportunity. That should cover the next couple of years at least!
You can also find Terry's interview on the Clever Pig website at http://www.cleverpig.org/resnews.php