What excited you the most: the first time you sailed? your first race or your first victory? TH: Growing up I would spend time sailing around the West River in Galesville, Maryland. A small town where my father kept our family cruising boat. I started when I was 4 years old in a dyer dinghy and the sailing has been in my blood ever since. I did not start competitive racing until I was 14 in the international 420. My most memorable early success came when I was 16 years old and won the U.S. 420 International National championship. I can remember it vividly as on the eve of the event training we broke the mast. We raced with an older spar and yet managed success over the 75 boats. It was quite a thrill, I was hooked! Which, of all the boats you have sailed on, is your favorite one? TH: TP 52 Do you suffer a lot when you race with an amateur helmsman? TH: No. There is a great challenge in helping owners have success at the helm of there boats. It is actually quite satisfying. Are the Olympics your unfinished business? TH: No, America’s Cup.
What has been your greatest joy in a race? TH: 1998 J-24 World Championship as I had been trying for 4-years to win the event. In the last race of the event we overcame a 9-point deficit. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work. Equal to that was the 2007 Louis Vuiton Final with ETNZ. We are still the only team to have won the event in a sweep over Prada. That was a great time in yachting as it show cased all aspects of our sport. How did an America sailor ended on board Team New Zealand as their tactician in the America’s Cup? TH: Hard work and a bit lucky. I was fortunate to have great opportunities with Dennis Conner and Tom Whidden in 2003. Having there references on my resume got me an in with Grant Dalton. I flew to New Zealand for literally 12 hours met with Grant and the rest is history. It was and still remains the best sailing opportunity of my life. Which person did you learn most from in your career? TH: Ed Reynolds who is the current president of Quantum Sails. Not a great sailor but a great mind in managing through situations. Has great vision and the ability to see the big picture which has been incredibly helpful over the years.
Which competitor would you like to be part of your team? TH: I have been really fortunate to work with the likes of Ed Baird and Dean Barker. They are GREAT helmsman. I have immense respect for John Kostecki as a tactician and his abilities on the water are second to none. I would have to think more about it as they are so many great sailors to pick just one is too difficult. Last time you foiled? TH: Never. Which regatta you have not won yet and you would to include it to your impressive sailing track record? TH: America’s Cup. Have you ever considered ocean sailing, either solo or crewed? TH: I have competed one leg of the Volvo Ocean race with Knut Frostad from Cape Town to Sydney. The experience itself was incredible given the right team environment I would definitely consider taking on that challenge. Solo sailing not so much!