For Allan Terhune, an Arnold resident and employee of the North Sails One Design sail-making company in Annapolis, a successful season of competitive sailing in 2013 is exciting, but it means he and his crew only have more work to do in 2014.
Terhune, 34, won several races last year, including such major ones as the Cedar Point Yacht Club's (Conn.) Lightning North American Championships, the J/22 World Championship and the Thistle U.S. National Championship.
He also was selected in December as one of nine nominees for the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, which will be announced in mid-January.
"It's been a special year, and it's a good way to end it, for sure," Terhune said. "It's a special honor to be considered as one of the best years this year of sailing, and the list of people who have won is the who's who of sailing, so to even be considered to be put onto that list is a pretty awesome thing."
Winning three major regattas across three different classes doesn't happen very often, Terhune said. He didn't win every race he entered this year, though; he said he struggled in the Lightning World Championship in Castiglione del Lago, Italy, and finished No. 19.
This year, Terhune hopes to defend his 2013 titles and race in South Africa.
Terhune's career began when he started to go sailing with his family while growing up in New Jersey. He also sails with his wife, Katie Terhune, who is one of 10 to 12 regular members of Allan's crew. He met his wife while they were both sailing as students at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
It's important that teammates all know their roles and embrace their strengths, Terhune said, because teams that work well together and get along together generally perform better.
"It's just a matter of, you know, just keep doing what we're doing and executing what we know how to do and having a good time at it," he said. "That's the key. I mean, it's a sport where not everything is always in your control — you know, it's weather-related and everything — so you just do the best you can and prepare the best you can, have a good time, and whatever happens, happens. But no, we do feel better knowing that what we do works, so that's a good thing."
Terhune considers himself fortunate to be able to do something he enjoys as a job. But last year's success, and his optimism for this year, makes him even more grateful for his past 12 months.
"It was a fun year," he said. "We definitely had ups and downs, but luckily for us, this year we had more ups than downs."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun