Ian Barrows grew up in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, where he began his sailing career in Optis. Quickly, he acquired a passion for the sport and transitioned to larger dinghies — 420s, Lasers, and Bytes. He competed nationally in high school competitions and internationally on the youth sailing stage. These experiences led him to several career youth highlights, including a gold medal in the Byte class at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, numerous National Championships—the 2014 and 2015 FJ and 420 National Championships, and 2014, 2015, 2016 420 and FJ Team Racing National Championships, 2nd in the 2010 Byte World Championship, and a 2nd in the 2008 Opti World Championship.
Ian graduated from Yale in 2017 with a degree in Economics. While sailing at Yale, the team won eight National Championships. Ian was a four-time collegiate All-American and was the College Sailor of the Year in 2017.
After college, Ian shifted his attention to an Olympic campaign. Ian is inspired by his brother, Thomas, who competed in two Olympic Games (2008 and 2016) and coached the Men’s 470 team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Like his brother, Ian sails the 49er and initially teamed up with Mitchell Kiss to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. The two narrowly missed qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games, finishing second at the United States Olympic Trials.
For 2024, Ian has teamed up with Hans Henken and the two are currently ranked 2nd in the world following a 2nd place finish at the 2022 Princesa Sofia World Sailing World Cup and solid performances on the world stage for the 2022 season.
Hometown: St. Thomas , US VI
Lives In: St. Thomas , US VI
Education: Yale University, '17
Club: St. Thomas Yacht Club