Paris Olympics 2024 (Team USA): Meet Hans Henken

American Olympic athlete Hans Henken, 30, is a well-known surfer and skier. In addition, Hans is a rocket scientist who hopes to continue his career in rocket science once he retires from professional sailing.

Hans Henken grew up in a sailor family

Hans Henken, the 30-year old American Olympic sailor grew up surrounded by sailing. Henken was born on June 4, 1994 in San Francisco to parents Ed and Tamra Henken.

As a child, Henken spent his summers and weekends between the family‘s native San Clemente and Coronado. He recalls falling in love with the sport at a young age, inspired by his mother who was a passionate sailor herself. Henken’s younger twin siblings, Paris and Sterling Henken. His sister Paris Henken competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Hans Henken in 2013
Image: Hans at Mammoth Ski in 2013 (Source: Hans’s Instagram)

Henken was accepted to the prestigious Stanford University. There he earned a Master’s Degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering while also leading Stanford’s.

During his studies at Stanford and after graduating, Henken shone on the international sailing scene. He racked up medals and podium finishes across multiple classes like the 29er, 49er, and International Moth. the sailing team as captain.

His consistent top results with new sailing partner Ian Barrows caught the eye of US Sailing, who officially named the duo to represent the USA in the 49er class at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

Hans is a married man

American Olympic sailor Hans Henken married longtime partner Helena Scutt in a September 2023 ceremony. His wife is a competitive sailor herself, having represented Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Games.

Hans Henken marriage to Wife Helena Scutt
Image: Hans Henken and Helena Scutt married on September 22, 2023, at the Stratus Home Ranch (Source: Hans’s Instagram)

Henken first posted a photo with Scutt back in September 2013. Nearly 10 years after they first met, Henken finally proposed to Scutt on October 29, 2022, while on a hike together. Scutt had apparently already been spotted wearing an engagement ring publicly by fans weeks before, but the couple waited until late 2022 to formally announce their plans to wed.

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On September 22, 2023, Hans Henken and Helena Scutt exchanged vows at the scenic Stratus Home Ranch with close friends and family in attendance. Their wedding comes just after the duo each qualified in separate events for the 2024 Paris Olympics next summer.

Hans Henken Wife Helena Scutt is also and Olympian

While her new husband Hans Henken has dominated headlines with his sailing exploits, his wife Helena Scutt is an expert athlete in the sport herself. Originally from Cheltenham, Great Britain, Scutt holds dual citizenship and has represented both the United States and Great Britain competitively on the international sailing scene.

The daughter of Oliver and Tania Scutt, Helena Scutt found her passion for sailing at a young age while growing up in England with her sister Nicola.

By 19, Scutt had crossed the Atlantic to attend Stanford University where she earned both a B.S. and M.S. in biomechanical engineering. She continued her Stanford studies while training with the U.S. Olympic sailing program.

Hans Henken Wife Helena Scutt with her father
Image: Hans Henken’s Wife Helena Scutt as a Child with her Father Oliver (Source: Helena’s Instagram)

Scutt went on to represent Great Britain in sailing at the 2015 Pan American Games, winning bronze in the women’s 49erFX class. The following year, while still completing her Stanford aeronautical engineering degrees, Scutt qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics – making her the youngest sailor on the British Olympic squad.

Scutt serves as a sailing systems engineer for the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team vying for the prestigious America’s Cup. She leads the design of the team’s electronic navigation interfaces and control systems.

Hans Henken Qualifies to Represent USA In 49er Class at 2024 Paris Olympics

American pro sailor Hans Henken can finally call himself an Olympian. Along with skipper and sailing partner Ian Barrows, Henken secured qualification to compete for Team USA in the high-performance 49er skiff class at the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

The qualifying moment came at the 2022 Pan American Games, where Barrows and Henken beat out the top teams from across North and South America to grab 49er gold on home waters in Florida and the American duo finished with a 16-point margin over second place.

In the USA’s 2024 Olympic trials for sailing, Barrows and Henken will now proudly represent America in Marseille, France next summer.

Hans Henken Injured in High-Speed Boat Crash in 2023

American sailor and 2024 Olympic hopeful Hans Henken suffered a major injury scare last year that put a risk in his Paris preparation. The 30-year-old was hospitalized after being knocked unconscious when his SailGP team’s state-of-the-art F50 catamaran violently crashed during a race.

Hans Henken from Coronado was seriously injured and rushed to a local hospital after being knocked unconscious.

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ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Copenhagen. Positioned on the leeward side of the foiling 50-foot catamaran, Henken bore the brunt of the impact when the boat suddenly nose-dived off at nearly 60 mph.

The violent splashdown submerged the left hull that Henken had landed on, knocking the seasoned sailor unconscious. Rescuers pulled Henken’s limp body from the battered boat and rushed him to a Danish hospital.

Hans’s career so far

Hans Henken’s obsession with sailing began in childhood on the waters of Southern California. Now 30, that passion has carried the American sailor on a remarkable journey to the top of international sailing as he trains his eyes on Olympic gold in Paris 2024.

Henken’s introduction to sailing came at just 6 years old when he started competing locally in Naples Sabot races. Showing early promise, his junior sailing resume stacked up first-place finishes and championships in Optimists, 420s, 29ers, International Mot,h and 49ers.

Henken delivered a breakout performance on the world stage at 2008’s Volvo ISAF Youth Worlds, achieving bronze in the 29er class at just age 14. He improved to gold the following year becoming the 29er Under 23 World Champion.

He capped his college career as senior team captain, leading Stanford to its most successful season ever while earning All-American honors and Stanford’s Conference Male Athlete of the Year award.

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In the Olympic 49er class, Henken has finished at prestigious regattas like Kiel Week, the Henri Lloyd Regatta, Trofeo SAR Princesa SofĂ­a, and the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series. He recently finished the 2022 World Championship ranked 4th and placed 2nd at the 2022 Princess Sofia World Championships.

Currently ranked 2nd globally in 49er class with crew Ian Barrows, Hans Henken has his sights set on Olympic glory as he prepares for the Paris 2024 Games next summer.