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EIGHT BELLS - Captain William J. Hurst

The Publisher

Oct 17, 2011, 12:23 PM

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EIGHT BELLS - Captain William J. Hurst

Captain Hurst Bowl
Dartmouth College
October 15-16, 2011

This year's Captain Hurst Bowl was a special event, as we had the ability to remember a great coach and leader at Dartmouth who just recently passed away on October 4th. Captain Hurst graduated from the Naval Academy in 1942, after serving as captain of their sailing team; he coached at Dartmouth for 26 years and is largely responsible for the existence of Varsity Sailing as a sport at Dartmouth College.

He brought four national championships home to Hanover, and had a profound influence on the many college sailors who sailed for him during those 26 years. He left John Storck with a great quote: "More than results, they should remember to do their best and always try to have fun. Sailing is the greatest thing in the world. May you always have fair winds and following seas." Mrs. Hurst was there Saturday morning, with her tremendously popular baked goods, and that truly speaks to the dedication the Hursts showed toward college sailing and the many student-athletes they have touched over the years.

As if on queue, Mascoma Lake delivered conditions that were fitting for such an important event. On Saturday, the breeze was WSW from 5-18 knots, and in the afternoon many of the strong crews got to get some sailing in when the bigger gusts rolled through, with each division completing 8 races. Sunday was a bit lighter, 5-13 knots with a WSW fighting a Northerly - pretty demanding conditions for the RC, and tricky racing for the sailors with breezy, puffy shifts in the 30-45 degree range. The race committee was able to complete 6 more races in each division. Dartmouth Sailing Parent's Weekend was in full effect, adding plenty of spectators and some delicious grill food.

Thank you to Avery Plough D14, Victor Hollenberg D14, Taylor McDonald D12, and Madi Gamble D13, who did a fantastic job on the Race Committee boat. Also thank you to Clinton Hayes as ICSA Rep, who helped organize the other coaches to hear a few protests and redress hearings (all disallowed). You can find results here:, and Captain Hurst's Obituary is available at: Captain Hurst Obituary. The text is below.

Captain William J. Hurst, United States Navy (Retired), age 93, passed away Tuesday, October 4, 2011, after a short period of declining health.

He was a member of the class of 1942 at the United States Naval Academy, commissioned as an Ensign on December 19, 1941. During WWII he served on three destroyers: Gunnery Officer USS Talbot, Gunnery Officer USS John Hood, and Executive Officer USS Stoddard. His ships took part in campaigns in the Aleutians, Solomon Islands, Okinawa, and the Third Fleet operations off of Japan.

After WWII he served as Executive Officer USS Dyess, Commanding Officer USS Jack W. Wilke, Commanding Officer USS Cowell, Assistant Plans Officer First Fleet Staff, Commander Destroyer Division 362, Chief of Staff Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 11, and Commander Destroyer Squadron 5. In the last two positions he was involved in operations off North Vietnam and in the Tonkin Gulf.

He also served as Executive Officer aboard the USS Williamsburg, Presidential Yacht for President Harry S Truman. For two and a half years he was in charge of Camp Shangri-La, now know as Camp David.

Shore Billets included Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Bureau of Naval Personnel. He attended the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. and then remained on the Staff as Director, National Strategy Study.

His last active duty was as Professor of Naval Science, Dartmouth College, retiring in 1972 after 30 1/2 years of Naval service. He then worked for Dartmouth College as the Business Administrator at Dick Hall's House. From 1968 - 1993 he was the volunteer head coach of the Dartmouth Sailing Teams. During his tenure as coach, the Dartmouth Men and Women Sailing Teams achieved 4 National championships. In 1999 he was inducted into the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association of North America Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Christina (Testa) Hurst. He leaves behind 4 children, Cheri Hurst and Gil Allen, James Hurst and his wife Susan Damon, Robert Hurst and his wife Cornelia, and Nancy Hurst Goss and her husband Jim. Six grandchildren: Tanis Allen, Lindsay Conway, Jed Allen, Jen Goss, Dana Goss, Anna Hurst, and one great-grandson, Colby Conway.

Justin Assad
Co-Head Coach
Dartmouth College Sailing Team