You name it, Sean Clarkson has probably sailed it.
Clarkson has been hard at it in some of the toughest yacht racing competition in the world: winning the Whitbread on New Zealand Endeavour; sailing as bowman on New Zealand's Soling entry in the 1996 Olympic Games; TP52 World Champion with Quantum Racing; and five America's Cup challenges from 1992 to 2007, with New Zealand, Tag Heuer, AmericaOne, Luna Rossa, and BMW Oracle Racing.
So Clarkson knows the America’s Cup, but this America’s Cup? Well, not every so-called 'Flintstone' is stuck in Bedrock. Clarkson, a longtime Quantum Racing crew member, emphatically made the transition to multihulls with his TP52 skipper Terry Hutchinson and jib trimmer Morgan Trubovich. After such a lengthy history racing monohulls, moving into the world of multihulls has not been as difficult as one might think -- excepting a few moments onboard the Extreme 40 the team raced last year.
'Once you get over the fact that it’s a multihull, it’s just a sailboat,' says Clarkson with a smile. 'We went out in an Extreme 40 last year and tried to do everything differently because we were in a multihull and got all chicken-winged up. I think we made it harder on ourselves, actually. It’s really not that difficult, we just tried to over-analyze everything. As soon as we appreciated that it’s just a sailboat -- you go out there, have a good start, get the shifts and have good crew work -- it all goes well. The smoother you sail it, the better shifts you get, the better starts you have, you still win races. There’s no mystery to it, so that’s the biggest thing.
'You’re starting to see the top keelboat sailors quickly becoming the top multihull sailors and actually surpassing all the legendary Olympians. If you’re a good team and you have good sailors, you’ll do pretty well. You don’t have to have a huge background in multihulls -- it’s just a sailboat.'
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