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Digital Subscriptions > Row360 > Issue 21 – Jan | Feb 2018 > All or Nothing

All or Nothing

While the world’s most famous rowing twins, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, have put down their oars to chase Bitcoin billions, they leave the sport in the safe hands of their unwitting father, Howard Winklevoss.

One of my failings is that I am very curious. Curiosity gets you into a lot of trouble – I mean why the heck do I have a rowing business?”

It’s a good question. A mathematical genius, Ph.D.and once a professor at the Wharton Business School, Howard Winklevoss was never a rower. He made his fortune founding an actuarial software company, assessing financial risk for pension plan investments. Yet today you’re most likely to find him bank-side at the Head of the Charles, pitching his products to rowing coaches or cheering on one of his club’s teams.

Being curious as to how one makes the leap from supportive parent to owning a share of one of the world’s largest boat manufacturers and a collection of New England based rowing clubs, I ask if I might be permitted a meeting. To my surprise I receive an invite to his home in Quogue, a sleepy seaside hamlet just west of the Hamptons in New York.

Howard greets me on the front step, apologising for the long drive and ferry boat ride I have taken from the city. There’s not a hint of the hard-nosed New York exec type I had envisaged.

His home, enviably located on the Long Island shore, is also far from ostentatious. Invited in, we sit at the kitchen table. After a turkey sandwich for the weary traveller, our conversation begins, appropriately, with the birth of his sons.

“They were actually named A and B for a long time”, I am told. “I thought the name ‘Wolfgang Winklevoss’ was pretty neat but with a name like that, what would you call the other one? Amadeus?” Tyler and Cameron’s first sport was tennis. As young teenagers they “announced” that if they were ever going to get tennis scholarships for college, they were going to need to go to a strong tennis high school; somewhere away from home, where they could focus “100 percent”.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.