David Hughes

Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Birthdate: January 22, 1978
College: University of Southern Maine, University of Wales
Member of: Coconut Grove Sailing Club
Official Athlete Website
Athlete Facebook Page

Athlete Bio:


WATCH: The Rio Report / N.12 – Veterans and Newcomers Reflect – Team USA veterans Stu McNay and Dave Hughes finish strong in Rio with one of the best performances of their career while Olympic newcomers Paris Henken and Helena Scutt review the experience of their first Games.

McNay’s campaign for Rio 2016 stands apart from the earlier stages of his career. After teaming up with Hughes following London 2012, the pair found considerable and sustained success in the men’s two-person dinghy. While coming up just shy of the podium in 4th overall, the lifelong New Englander said he was proud of their performance. “We were able to find something very special together as teammates,” said McNay, who along with Hughes was a finalist for US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year honors in 2015. Coached by U.S. Olympic medalist Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), McNay and Hughes have earned medals at sixteen major events over the past four years. McNay said they were determined to arrive in Rio with both the speed and skills to challenge for gold. “We were fighting for the top spot on the podium at this event, which is all you can ask for as a competitor.”

“One of the best things about the Games is that it’s a moment in time where you’re required to put your best foot forward,” said a reflective McNay. “It’s an interesting opportunity to say, ‘I’m going to be at my very best, here and now.’ You do what you can in the moment. I would have liked the both of us to do a little bit better, because I know that is well within our abilities.”

Hughes said that as a veteran team, they focused extensively on mental preparation prior to the event.”We didn’t take in too much pressure,” said Hughes. “We were most interested in generating a peak performance, which is something that comes from within. I tried to get the best out of myself, and be the best teammate I could be for Stu,” said Hughes. “Those are the things that matter in the end.”

Pictured: Stu McNay & Dave Hughes. Photo: © Will Ricketson / US Sailing

Sailing Achievements:

470 Olympic-Class Dinghy (with McNay):
  • Finalist: US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year – (2016, 2015, 2005)
  • Golden Torch Award (Top U.S. Result at Sailing World Cup Miami), 2017
  • Gold – Sailing World Cup Miami (Miami, U.S.A.), 2017
  • Golden Torch Award (Top U.S. Result at Sailing World Cup Miami), 2016
  • Gold  – 470 European Open Championship (Aarhus, Denmark), 2015
  • Gold – 470 North American Championship (Miami, U.S.A.), 2015
  • Gold – Sailing World Cup Miami (Miami, U.S.A.), 2013
  • Gold – Sailing World Cup Miami (Miami, U.S.A.), 2015
  • Gold – Sailing World Cup Weymouth (Weymouth U.K.), 2015
  • Gold – 470 U.S. National Championship (Miami, U.S.A.), 2013
  • Gold – 470 U.S. National Championship (Miami, U.S.A.), 2015
  • Silver – Copa Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 2014
  • Silver – Trofeo Princesa Sofia (Palma, Spain), 2016
  • Silver – 470 South American Championship (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 2014
  • Bronze – 470 Open European Championship (Palma, Spain) 2016
  • Bronze – Sailing World Cup Final (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.), 2014
  • Bronze – Sailing World Cup Final (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.), 2015
  • Bronze – 470 European Open Championship (Palma, Spain), 2016
  • Bronze – Sailing World Cup Miami (Miami, U.S.A.), 2014
  • Bronze – Copa Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 2015
  • 5th – 470 World Championship (Santander, Spain), 2014
  • 6th – 470 World Championship (La Rochelle, France), 2013
470 Olympic-Class Dinghy (Prior to sailing with McNay):
  • Gold – Kiel Week – 2005
  • Gold – 470 North Americans – 2005
  • Gold – 470 North Americans – 2006
  • Olympic Team Training Partner – Athens 2004
  • 2nd – U.S. Olympic Team Trials – 2007
  • Finalist: US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year – (2005, also finalist in 2015)
Non-Olympic Classes:
  • Melges 24 World Champion – 2016
  • 1st overall, 2015 Centomila Regatta, Italy, tactician
  • 1st overall, 2015 Key West Race Week (Melges 24), tactician
  • 1st AudiTron Cup Melges 24 – 2015
  • 2nd J-24 Worlds – 2009
  • 3rd Melges 24 Worlds – 2011
  • 4th Etchells Worlds – 2009
  • 5th Melges 24 Worlds – 2013
  • Master’s degree – University of Wales, International Relations – 2001
  • BA’s – University of Southern Maine, American Government – 1999
  • White House West Wing Intern – 1997-1998
  • US House Intern – 1997
  • US Senate Intern – 1996
  • Rhodes Scholarship finalist – 1998
  • Met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Press Inquiries