Eight years ago, Yarmouth High School graduate Dave Hughes and partner Michael Anderson-Mitterling finished second in the men’s 470 class dinghy race during the United States Olympic Trials.
They lost to Stu McNay and Graham Biehl, who wound up 13th in the Beijing Olympics.
Hughes and McNay eventually teamed up — after Hughes had served as a coach during the 2012 Olympics — and the duo earned a fourth-place finish in the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro on Thursday.
Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic captured the gold medal, Australia’s Matt Belcher and Will Ryan earned the silver, and Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis took home the bronze.
Hughes, 38, moved to Yarmouth from New York and got his start in sailing with the youth program at the Harraseeket Yacht Club in South Freeport.
He was a member of the University of Southern Maine sailing team in his final two years before graduating with a degree in American government in 1999.
He served as the training partner for Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham in 2004, and that duo captured the gold medal at the Olympics in Greece.
After failing to earn a berth in the Olympics in 2008, he coached Trevor Moore and Erik Storck to a 15th-place finish in the 2012 Olympics.
Moore, Hughes and McNay lived together in Florida after the 2012 Olympics, and after sailing with Moore, Hughes decided to switch to McNay.
Hughes said his experience as a coach during the 2012 Olympics was invaluable and he hoped to apply what he learned in 2016.
Hughes and Moore had become close friends and had often shared a house.
“At one stage, I was sailing with Trevor as his partner and soon realized that perhaps the better partnership was actually between Stu and I,” Hughes told NBC Sports. “Many reasons … physical size, all sorts of things.”
Moore, who was a driving force behind Hughes’ decision to try to earn an Olympic bid as a sailor again, was lost at sea on June 25, 2015, after going out in a 15-foot inflatable power boat.
Moore also had served in an advisor-type role to Hughes and McNay.
“Competing for Trevor is no small part of what drives me. He will be there with me in Rio,” Hughes told NBC Sports. “Without question, Stu and I would not be where we are today if it were not for Trevor’s friendship and support.”