Executing at the highest level

Published on December 12th, 2022

by Michelle Slade, St. Francis Sailing Foundation
Hans Henken’s biggest goal as a kid – and still is – was to compete at the Olympic Games, against the world’s best on the world’s biggest stage. At 30 years old, Henken is nothing short of one highly accomplished human, both on and off the water.

Starting off as a six-year-old in the Naples Sabot, Henken has since spent most of his sailing career competing on the US Sailing Team honing his craft and campaigning on the Olympic circuit in the 49er Class, currently with a view to Paris 2024 alongside teammate Ian Barrows.

The pair are currently ranked 2nd in the 2022 World Sailing World Rankings in the 49er following a stellar year: a 1st place finish at the West Marine Miami US Open, 2nd place finish at the Princesa Sofia World Sailing World Cup, 5th place at the Allianz World Sailing World Cup and 11th place finish at the 49er World Championships.

A bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford (2011-2018), Henken’s also been an asset to the US SailGP team as flight controller, helping the team chase its first SailGP Championship.

Sail GP

To say that the guy is goal-oriented is an understatement. With an exceptional education and two Olympic campaigns under his belt, Henken’s focus has always been on how to reach goals when the internal goal has been to compete/operate at the highest level.

“I think a lot of it [my accomplishments] have been driven from an internal goal to compete at the highest level, knowing where I want to end up and how to set the tempo for how everything else follows through on that,” Henken noted.

“I’ve always been fascinated with competition and I saw the opportunity for myself because I really enjoyed sailing so much, although as a kid you don’t see it as a career but just as a sport that you do because you love the water. My goal to compete in the Olympics has driven me to do everything else in my life I do to accomplish that.” – Full report


Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 26-August 11

Details: https://www.paris2024.org/en/the-olympic-games-paris-2024/

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