Rose-colored sunglasses, white sun block on his face and stars-and-stripes shorts--that youthful look of success and $100 million may get Terry Hutchinson to the next America's Cup.
The 23-year-old sailmaker from Traverse City, Mich., took the first big step by beating two Cup competitors in Thursday's sailoffs for the 28th Congressional Cup at Long Beach.
First, he ousted France's Bertrand Pace by 42 seconds in a sudden-death semifinal, then he took the last two of three races from Spain's Pedro Campos by 17 seconds and 28 seconds for the title after Campos won the opener by eight seconds.
It was the first U.S. victory in the event since 1985, when Rod Davis won for Newport Harbor Yacht Club. When Davis won in 1989, he sailed for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Neither Davis nor two-time defending champion Chris Dickson competed this time because of their America's Cup commitments.
Hutchinson did not match-race until last September.
The critical moment in the deciding race occurred when Hutchinson led Campos into the first windward mark of the two-lap course, nose to tail.
As they fell back downwind, Campos tried to poke his bow between Hutchinson and the mark without right of way and struck the side of Hutchinson's boat.
Hutchinson protested, and the umpires ordered Campos to execute a 270-degree penalty turn, which gave Hutchinson an insurmountable lead.
The annual Olympic Classes Regatta is scheduled at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club today through Sunday. Virtually all of the U.S. campaigners in the five Olympic classes with trials in Southern California early next month will compete. Trials for Finns, women's Europe dinghies and men's and women's 470s will be at Newport Beach and for Tornado catamarans at Marina del Rey.