He has been sailing since age six. In the 1995 Queen"s Birthday Honours, Butterworth was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to yachting
He says: "Great sportsmen seek victory on the field of play, or in our sport. On the high seas. His yacht Alinghi 5 lost to the challenging yacht United States of America 17 by a considerable margin.
Most observers stated that United States of America 17"s rigid wing sail had given it a decisive advantage.
Butterworth led a campaign on NUMBERS, a 66-foot race boat designed by Alinghi Head of Design Team, Rolf Vrolijk and owned by American Daniel Meyers in 2007 and 2008 that resulted in winning. The maxi boat world championship in Sardinia, Cork Race Week in Ireland, and in the United States, the New York Yacht Club annual regatta, the Palm Beach Race, the Lambert Ocean Race and the Palm Beach Race, Key West Race Week.
After the successful defense of the America"s Cup in Auckland in 2000 the then skipper, Russell Coutts, tactician Butterworth and several other members of the New Zealand team moved to the Alinghi team