We would like to welcome Team USA45 Racing’s newest member Sam Hallowell! We were able to catch up with Sam for a quick Q&A to get to know more about him:
What is your background in sailing? What did you typically sail as a junior sailor?
I have grown up sailing in Newport on Lasers and 420’s but have found my love for sailing on larger faster boats. At the age of 17 I did my first Bermuda race on an STP 65. Since then I have been able to penetrate the professional sailing world sailing mostly on TP52’s Melges 32’s and other custom IRC boats. Recently, I have been given the great opportunity to run the bow on Steve Benjamin’s boats as well as Blue Yankee which is one of the most successfully campaigned programs on the east coast. I have sailed on four different IRC 52’s in three different programs and have had integral roles in each. I have diverse sailing experience on numerous programs and boat types. I am part of the trio of fellow Winged Victory members Luke Adams and Dylan Vogel that placed 2nd and 3rd in the Youth Nationals Sears Cup. My father as a professional sailor and rigger for Southern Spars has passed down his world renowned skills to me which has proven invaluable as I move onto ever more complex boats. I love the aspect of sailing on a team and love how much I learn every time I go sailing. Currently I am attending Hobart College as a freshman and participating on the sailing team.
Coming from Newport, Rhode Island, you must have had a whole lot of exposure to the America’s Cup. Tell us a little bit about that.
I have never lived in Newport for a real America’s Cup as the last one was in 1983, but the city has been heavily influenced by the Cup. I have had the opportunity to sail with many Cup guys and am currently member of the New York Yacht Club, which supported Dennis Conner for many of his early campaigns. The city has attracted many of the worlds top sailors which has provided me with many opportunities.
Being the tallest member of Team USA45, what is it like moving around the boat? What are some advantages of your height?
Being the tallest member of the team is somewhat of a mixed blessing. Its good to be tall on other boats, but on the AC45 and Extreme 40 there is a lot of ducking involved, which makes getting around a bit harder. However, on the AC45 it can help sometimes when hurdling over the spine. I don’t really ever think about my height but am always reminded of it when someone needs me to reach something.
Any hobbies that we should know about beside sailing?
As far as hobbies go, I have played hockey my whole life and was the captain of my high school team during my senior year. I also played varsity lacrosse throughout high school. Outside of those two sports, I love to ski, paddle board, and surf
What skills do you think you bring to USA45 Racing?
One of the biggest skills I think I bring to the team is experience from larger boats and their complex systems. I have been sailing larger keel boats for a while now and have spent the last couple summers working on them and maintaining them to the highest standards which has given me a higher knowledge of how all the systems work which I think will directly transfer over to the 40 and 45. They are such physical boats and everything will need to be working at 100% efficiency so we don’t waist energy. I think my knowledge of how to use and how to fix the systems on the boats is my strongest skill.