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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

Sailor Profile: Tomas Hornos
By Lynn Fitzpatrick
Feb 1, 2008, 19:50

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Tomas Hornos, Frederico Englehard, Leandro Spina, photo by Lynn Fitzpatrick

Tomas Hornos – A Winter in the Star with Dad

If you win the Snipe World Championship you put yourself in the company of sailing legends. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, Tomas Hornos was one of the youngest to achieve such a great accomplishment. Tomas returned from Oporto, Portugal to the US with lots of fanfare. Cottage Park Yacht Club threw a party in his honor; Tufts University Coach Ken Legler added Hornos to a long list of Jumbos who have won world championships; even Tufts President, Larry Bacow, a sailor himself, sent a special note of congratulations to young Tomas. To quote Tomas, “It was one of the best times in my life”. None could be prouder, or more supportive of Tomas’ sailing career than his father, Luis.

Tomas had a unique winter break. Rather than spending skiing or sailing and goofing off with friends, Tomas has been working on an interesting project with his father. The pair has been sailing in Miami…together. Tomas is at the helm and incredibly zealous, Luis has been donning the droop suit and harness and crewing.

Tomas’ interest in the Star took root when he was 14 years old and still an Opti sailor. Carlos, his uncle from Argentina, suggested that Tomas sail a Star in a NOOD regatta in New England. Tomas returned from school every afternoon for a couple of weeks before the regatta and played with all of the rigging on the Star that was set up in the Hornos driveway. Tomas and a friend relied on their Opti knowledge and enthusiasm to race the Star. At a combined weight of 280 pounds, the two juniors finished 17th in a 34-boat fleet the first time that they ever sailed a Star. Tomas, who is a master of light air, said, “Its basic. We played the shifts,” and they ended up beating his uncle Carlos and his father, Luis.

Tomas caught the Star bug then and sailed the Mader for a year. In the summer of 2003 they purchased a Folli (7793). In the meantime, Tomas began sailing Snipes and a Laser. While Luis has been Tomas’ primary coach and sponsor since Tomas was 5 years old, Luis and Tomas credit his Opti and Snipe coach, Leandro Spina, and the No Excuses Sailing Team for the transition from the Opti to the Snipe and help with the Star.

About sailing the Star this winter, Hornos says, “It’s a different track, but I am here sailing with my father against some of the best sailors in the world. It’s unique and I’m glad that I’m trying it.” Prior to US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR, Tomas said, “I just want to gain experience. I’m not sailing the MOCR for a result.”

Luis is excited about Tomas’ future in sailing and in the Star class. While Tomas does not have a new Star for the MOCR, he did have a new crew. Luis had hinted that at some point it would be best for him to step aside and have Tomas sail with a more experienced Star crew. During the week of the MOCR, Luis has been keeping tabs on his business and on Tomas and his crew, Frederico Englehard. The pair sailed a spectacular regatta in a 66-boat field that includes all of the Olympians and Olympic hopefuls except for World Champion, Robert Scheidt. They capped off the regatta by winning both light air races in the silver fleet on the last day of fleet racing. What an experience!

Tomas and his father, Luis. Photo by Lynn Fitzpatrick.

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