Five Questions for Terry Hutchinson

At Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena, SW's Angus Phillips speaks with the Artemis helmsman about the hardships of being a pro.
Sailing World


Terry Hutchinson (at helm) is helping bring Sweden’s Artemis team into America’s Cup contention. Paul Todd/ Vuitton Trophy

**1. You came all the way to Sardinia, and your Annapolis neighbor Gavin Brady hands you your first loss. That’s not so neighborly.
**Yeah, we’re calling it the Battle of Route 2. We wanted the right, won the right, sailed into a 30-degree righty, and got locked out at the start. Then we blew up the kite on the first run. Not good, but it’s the best kind of learning experience you can have.

I’d be overstating to say we hang out back home, but they live down the street and occasionally our daughters play together. It’s a good, friendly rivalry.

**2. You weren’t too high on the Louis Vuitton Series when it started last year. Changed your mind?
**Now that there’s a clear winner of the Cup, the concept has a lot better chance to lead to bigger and better things. Paul Cayard (Artemis skipper and chairman of the oversight World Sailing Teams Association) is a good leader. He’s more interested in serving the sport than serving us or himself. The downside is, with only two boats left here, we’re one big crash away from no regatta.


**3. After trimming the main on AmericaOne in 2000 and calling tactics on Stars & Stripes in 2003 and Team New Zealand in 2007, do you feel like you’ve paid your dues?
**In hindsight, all three campaigns were good. You learn your lessons along the way. I’m fortunate to have actually sailed in the America’s Cup Match (with TNZ in 2007). Not many sailors can say that. And while I wasn’t happy to trim the main in 2000—I’d never done it before—it was good, because now when I’m steering I know what the others have to deal with.

**4. You’re away from home a lot. Is the elite professional sailor’s life all it’s cracked up to be?
**It’s not all peaches and cream. I’m five weeks into an eight-week stretch away from home. I guess for anyone who doesn’t love his family and kids, that’s a great job. But I’m not that guy.

**5. With you, Cayard, and Kevin Hall in the afterguard, you’re doing well here. Is Artemis Sweden’s first real contender for the Cup?
**Our learning curve right now is straight up. We’re getting better but we’re not at the top of the heap by miles. We’re laying a foundation, hopefully a solid one.