Sailor of the Week: April 22-28
The first thing that crossed Geoff Hurwitch’s mind when the company he was working for relocated to Park City , Utah from Burlington, Vt. in June 2006 was… “what about my sailing?” The life-long sailor has not only carved out his own sailing niche in the thin, dry air of the Wasatch Mountains, but Geoff has made a tremendous impact on the Park City sailing community and beyond.
Each year at US SAILING’s One-Design Symposium, awards for service, leadership, creativity, a club, and a regatta are presented to recognize individuals and organizations in one-design sailing. In 2009, Geoff received the Leadership Award, which recognizes individual initiative, enthusiasm, organizing ability and leadership in creating one-design fleet building programs.
Geoff, a skilled one-design sailor and former boat builder, was the driving force in growing the Park City Sailing Association (PCSA). Since arriving, he has been a strong proponent of establishing a serious one-design presence in the Wasatch Mountains. Geoff started with just two boats and two skippers. He has since grown the fleet to over 40 skippers.
He facilitated a fleet purchase program to help grow the fleet. He also created an enclosed boat/rig storage area and built a custom trailer, which allows PCSA sailors to support other events in Colorado, California and the Northwest.
Geoff put forth strong efforts to build the Laser fleet from the ground up at PCSA. He acted as a clearinghouse for used Lasers, and in 2009 the PCSA hosted the Laser No Coast Masters Championship to Park City. He also established a Yahoo user group, which allows efficient communication for race updates, boat availability, and for scheduling weekend training sessions.
“I have little moments of reflection when someone mentions how great it is that the PCSA has been created and they thank me for my time and energy in creating it and maintaining its growth,” said Geoff. “That’s when I take a deep breath and look at what we’ve created and that gives me more energy to tackle the next task.”
Geoff grew up sailing with his parents aboard their 210. Both of his parents and his twin brother, Tom, are avid sailors. Although Geoff spent plenty of time cruising with his parents as a youngster, his real passion is racing. Geoff looks forward to sailing his self-built Moth in the near future. “I continually say that sailboat racing is like playing a game of chess on the water, you have to think of your race three or four moves ahead,” he explained. “There are so many elements that have to be taken into consideration when racing.”
Geoff has been involved in nearly every aspect of the sport. He has raced as a junior and through college (Univ. of Vermont); taught sailing on Cape Cod; worked in the industry for a manufacturer and a speed shop; created his own boat building company (built a couple 505s); and most recently he founded the PCSA.
Geoff reflected, “I’ve had so much involvement in this sport that even though there are trophies I still want to win, I feel that if I was asked to hang up my sailing shoes tomorrow, I could, and I would be proud of my career.”