Paris Henken

Paris started sailing in the Naple Sabot at the age of 6 in Dana Point, California. After following the footsteps of her two older brothers, Hans and Sterling Henken, her family moved to Coronado, California because the love for the sport grew in her family. After the sabot, she moved into the 29er which is where her love for skiffs began. She competed in many World Championships, including winning silver fleet in the 2009 29er Lake Garda Worlds at the age of 13. She also won the 2011 Youth Championships as one of the only female skippers in the fleet.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition

Around her high school graduation, the 49erFX was named to be part of the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio and from there she knew that going to the Games was the dream. She ended up postponing her college education after one semester at College of Charleston. She competed in the 2015 Pan American Games winning the bronze medal and competed in the 2016 Rio Games with Helena Scutt finishing 10th overall.

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After the 2016 Olympics, Paris went back to College of Charleston for 2 years and was named women’s Honorable All-American her first year back and women’s All-American the year after. She helped her Charleston sailing team win Coed Fleet Race Nationals and the Team Race Nationals in 2016. The following year her team got 2nd at the Coed Fleet Race Nationals, won the Team Race Nationals again, and as a women’s skipper tied for 1st losing the tie breaker for Women’s Fleet Race Nationals. As well, the Charleston sailing team won the Fowle Trophy as the “Best All-Around College Sailing Team” in the nation in 2016 and 2017.

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She then took another leave of absence from College of Charleston to team up with Anna to set sights on winning a gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Anna and Paris sailed hard during the Olympic Trials, but lost the trials due to losing a double-tie breaker. Although they did not accomplish their goal of representing the USA at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, some team achievements included finishing 9th at the 2019 World Championships and finishing 7th at the 2020 World Championships.

After the Olympic Trials ended in 2020, Paris went back to College of Charleston and finally graduated in May 2022 earning a B.S. in Exercise Science and a minor in Biology. She was able to compete in one more year of College Sailing and during her final year she won the 2021 Women’s Fleet Race Nationals as the A skipper, finished 3rd at the 2021 Team Race Nationals as the pin starter, and finished 5th at the 2021 Coed Fleet Race Nationals as the B skipper. She won the 2021 Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year and helped Charleston win the Fowle Trophy for being the “Best All-Around College Sailing Team”. She was named women’s All-American skipper for the second time and also named Coed Honorable All-American skipper.

Upon graduating, Paris dipped her toes into the field of coaching helping the ODP 49erFX throughout the 2022 summer. However, Paris and Anna have teamed up for the second time in pursuit to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France and win the gold.