Luther Carpenter: For the love of sailing

Published on December 13th, 2017

Luther Carpenter

Success at the Olympic level requires continuity, and nobody has provided that like Luther Carpenter.  He is the longest-tenured and most successful coach in the history of US Olympic Sailing, having guided American athletes to five medals in four different classes for over 25 years.

“I’ve got to be honest that when I first started this job (in 1990) I really didn’t think too much about how long I’d stay,” said Carpenter. “For me, really the attraction to the Olympics was that I just loved sailing.

“I really think that from junior high on, when I was asked by the local yacht club (in Louisiana) to run the races, I couldn’t wait to pull the anchor up and follow the fleet around, to see how the sails were trimmed. Watching people sail, be it well-balanced boats or even poorly sailed boats, has always been a big interest of mine, and it turns out that it has some value. It’s about a love of balance. It’s about just helping people with boats.

“I was interviewed recently, and was asked to name my best and most memorable moment in sailing. I told the writer the truth, which is that I don’t really have a ‘big moment.’ You’d think it was just the medals, but the truth of it is I’m just looking forward to going out on the water this coming Sunday, and trying to help a US boat get balanced, and get faster. Hopefully that sailor will turn it into a result on the racecourse. For me it’s just about the love of the game, and a love of sailing.”

Source: US Sailing Team

Note: This post originally said 4 medals, in 3 classes. Our bad!

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