Anderson Reggio, described by our friend and regular contributor Sam Crichton as “Newport’s Go-To Sailing Professional” in an article she wrote for NewportThisWeek.com, checks a lot of boxes for WindCheck Magazine. He could easily be an On Watch candidate as he hails from “The WindCheck Community.” He could write a Sound Environment column drawing on his environmental experiences and as an Ambassador for Newport-based 11th Hour Racing. For this regular feature of our interviews with New York Yacht Club American Magic team members, Anderson fits the bill perfectly as well. We are proud to have him!
WindCheck: When did you start sailing?
Anderson Reggio: I started sailing Optis at around 7 or 8 in my hometown of Essex, Connecticut.
WC: Who was your primary sailing mentor?
AR: I’d be nowhere in this sport without Peter Isler. His allowing me to learn under his tutelage is something for which I’ll be forever grateful.
WC: Please tell us how you got involved with the campaign.
AR: I got involved with American Magic this past spring when Terry called with a need for someone to assist with management of the testing for the program. It was an easy yes considering the opportunity to be involved with some of the best sailors on the planet.
WC: What is your role with the team, and how is that role changing with the new boats?
AR: I manage all of the day-to-day testing for the program. Given the complexity of the new boats across all departments, I have to keep my head around the priorities for each element of the boat and plan accordingly so that we can test things in a logical manner to maximize our efficiency of learning.
WC: What perspectives from your other sailing do you bring to this campaign?
AR: Most of the sailing teams that I have been involved with over the past few years have landed me in the navigator role, where I end up intricately involved with the electronic systems, the meteorological team, and the data analysis side. It has forced me to develop a good understanding of what it takes to manage each of those elements. As such, past experiences have set me up well for this central role here, collating daily requirements of each area into a manageable plan for our sailing.
WC: You’ve had great success at high levels of sailing, but this is your first America’s Cup. What’s been the biggest surprise?
AR: Having such a large team and such a complex machine in the AC75 requires an amount of trust beyond my anticipations. I’m much more used to significantly smaller teams and boats which are relatively much more simple to operate. To be successful in a team like this mandates that you trust others to do their job and do it well, because no single person has the time or bandwidth to understand everything that is happening across a squad like this at a given moment. Fortunately, with this team, that trust is easy because everyone here is the best at what they do.
WC: OK, so your CV is very impressive…but as everyone likes to say, we never stop learning. What have you learned from the other team members?
AR: If you put enough creative minds in a room, solutions are bred from those minds as a collective group. The water cooler brainstorms are arguably the most productive.
WC: What’s your advice for young WindCheck readers aspiring to be involved with an America’s Cup?
AR: Put your head down and always put in the hours. The hardest lesson I’ve ever learned (and one I admittedly still need to adhere to better from time to time) is that less words and more action is often better. Keep your pride to a minimum and your confidence at a level appropriate to your knowledge; always pursue more knowledge. No one gets ahead in this game if they over-promise and under-deliver.
WC: Thank you very much Anderson. We’re looking forward to the party in Newport after American Magic’s victory in Auckland! ■
Special thanks to New York Yacht Club American Magic Communications Director Will Ricketson for facilitating this interview.