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Local Sailor Named Yachtsman of the Year … Again

Tactician Terry Hutchinson rises to top spot for a second time

Terry Hutchinson has been named the U.S. Sailing Association’s 2014 Rolex Yachtsman of the year.
    A veteran of four America’s Cup campaigns, Hutchinson in 2014 was atop more major regatta leader boards than any other American sailor. Competing as chief tactician, he won the Farr 40 and TP52 World Championships and the Oman Cup’s RC44 one-design class, among other big-boat regattas around the world. He also was at the helm in the Annapolis Fall Brawl, as the winner in the J/70 class.
    “It’s overwhelming to be honored like this,” Hutchinson said at a reception for him hosted by the National Sailing Hall of Fame in Annapolis.
    This is the second Yachtsman of the Year award for Hutchinson, who also won in 2008. The annual award, established in 1961 by U.S. Sailing, the sport’s governing body, and sponsored by Rolex, is considered the top honor for on-the-water achievement.
    “Terry is one of a very few to have won this award not once, but twice,” said Gary Jobson, Sailing Hall of Fame president. “It’s nice to see a fellow tactician get this kind of recognition,” added Jobson, himself a former America’s Cup tactician.
    Hutchinson thanked his parents for a lifetime of support for his sailing career. He started early — at age 3 — learning to handle a Dyer Dhow sailing dinghy tied behind his parents’ Columbia yawl.
    “At 13, one of my instructors gave me the simplest and still one of the best tips I ever had,” Hutchinson said. “When in doubt, always make sure your bow is moving toward the mark.”
    With an action-packed 2014 in his wake, Hutchinson said he plans to enjoy more time off this year at home in Harwood with his wife, son and daughter. But as tactician, he has already won the Maxi 72 class at Key West Race Week in January, with six more professional sailing events to come for that crew this year.
    The Rolex 2014 Yachtswoman of the year is Stephanie Roble, of East Troy, Wisconsin. She won the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship and is the number-one-ranked American match racer.
    Both Hutchinson, 46, and Roble, 25, are products of Old Dominion University, where each won multiple All-American honors from the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association.