Hans Henken

Hans started sailing at the age of 6 years old in Dana Point, California in the Naples Sabot. After a few years he began to transition into Club 420’s where he teamed up with Judge Ryan. The team sailed the C420 from 2004 until 2005 when they moved into the 29er class.

Since moving into the 29er in 2006, Hans has competed in the US 29er Class, US 49er Class, International Moth Class and the US 29er XX Class.  He has extensively sailed the 29er skiffs all over the United States and the world, entering his first World Championship in 2006 at the age of 14.  At this event Hans was the youngest competitor to make gold fleet, eventually finishing 24th overall.

Hans’ 29er experience prepared him well for the Olympic class 49er.  In 2008 Hans competed in the 49er US Nationals and 49er US Olympic trials out of Southwest Yacht Club, placing 10th overall at the later event and receiving much respect from many professional sailors.

By the end of the summer in 2008, Hans had won the US Sailing Youth Championship in the 29er in San Francisco and the Volvo ISAF Youth World Qualifier in the 29er in Long Beach, California.  The victory at the Youth World Qualifier earned Hans and Judge the honor of representing the USA at the 2008 ISAF Youth Worlds.  He was chosen in the fall of 2008, to join the elite group of youth sailors on the U18 US Sailing Olympic Development Team.  He continued to race with the team the following year and in the summer of 2009 competed in Kiel Week, in Kiel Germany, and in the I420 World Championships and 29er World Championships at Lake Garda with Oliver Toole.

Later that year, Oliver and Hans joined US Sailing’s 49er Olympic Development Team.  They spent the summer of 2010 with the Olympic Development Team and US Sailing Olympic Alpha Graphic Team racing 49ers at Kiel Week, and 49er Europeans in Gdynia, Poland.  During the summer of 2011, Hans competed in Kiel once again with his younger sister in the 29erXX.  He continued to sail with his sister for the remainder of the summer in the 29er, winning the German National Championship and competing at the 29er Europeans. Hans finished the summer off with a 3rd place finish at the 49er Nationals in the Gorge, again sailing with Oliver.

Hans began sailing the International Moth at the end of 2007.   He was the first  person to own a Moth in Southern California, and invited 2005 and 2007 World Champion, Rohan Veal of Australia to Coronado where they launched the first International training camp.  Following his experiences with Rohan Veal, Hans helped to organize and promote the first two California Moth Regattas in the San Diego area and later the first US International Moth Nationals, which was held at the Columbian River Gorge, August 2008.

In the winter of 2008, Hans traveled to compete in Sydney, Australia at the Sydney International Regatta (SIRs) where he finished 4th, and as well as the Melbourne, “Go for Gold Regatta”, in which he finished 2nd. In 2009 Hans raced in the International Moth World Championships at the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon where he was named the 2009 CST Composites International Junior Moth World Champion.

Hans continues to enjoy being a part of the “think tank” of world class sailors experimenting with new foil designs, better rigging techniques, sail shape and design, to make the Moth hydrofoil faster!


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