Known as the quietest man to defend the America’s Cup, Ted Hood lets his sailing and sail making skills speak for him. He was the skipper of COURAGEOUS, which defeated SOUTHERN CROSS in four straight races in 1974. SOUTHERN CROSS was a fast boat that had badly beaten FRANCE in the challengers’ trials, but she proved to be a terrible disappointment in the Cup finals. She was beaten by large margins in the final two races, the last race being the worst: 7 minutes, 19 seconds.
Actually the first two races were close and could have gone either way. Smart tactics and clever use of wind shifts got COURAGEOUS into early leads in the first two races, thanks to the expertise of Ted Hood.
Ted Hood entered his first America’s Cup yacht NEFERTITI in 1962. With co-skipper, Don MacNamara, Hood did well in the trials against EASTERNER and COLUMBIA, but was slower than Mosbacher’s WEATHERLY which was selected to defend and went on to win the Cup in 1962.
In 1976, Ted Hood designed and built INDEPENDENCE, an aluminum 12-Meter he campaigned in the 1977 defender trials, ultimately losing to Ted Turner and COURAGEOUS.
Ted Hood first became prominent as a sailmaker and designer, by producing spectacularly successful spinnakers for the early America’s Cup 12 meter yachts. Then, his mainsails and jibs became the standard, made from state-of-the-art dacron fabrics developed by Hood Yacht Systems. As an America’s Cup skipper, he developed a reputation for picking good people and then counting on them to do their job. This philosophy allowed him to sail an error-free series against SOUTHERN CROSS and turn what could have been a close series into a rout.