George R. Hinman
: Greenwich, CT / Newport, RI
: Middlebury College, BA / Columbia Business School, MBA
George participated in three America’s Cup campaigns and won the Cup with Intrepid in 1967. Over the course of 25 years he campaigned a Peterson 34, J-35, Mumm 36, Farr 40, and NYYC Swan 42.
George served as President of Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound. He is also on the Board for the National Sailing Hall of Fame, International Yacht Restoration School, and Sail to Prevail. George is a former Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. Promoting Team Racing throughout the country has been a priority of his for many years.
- President of YRA of LIS, 1980-1982
- Board of Trustee, Storm Trysail Club, 1982-1984
- Board of Trustee, American Yacht Club, 1988-1992
- Board of Trustee, New York Yacht Club, 1984-1988, 1998-2002
- Board of Trustee, Fales Committee (Naval Academy), 1990-1993
- Treasurer, ACCA (America’s Cup Challenger Association), 1998-2000
- Commodore, New York Yacht Club, 2004-2005
- Board of Trustee, Sail to Prevail (Shake A Leg), 2000-Present
- Board of Trustee, IYRS, 2007-Present
- Board of Trustee, National Sailing Hall of Fame, 2007-Present
- Boats Owned, Peterson 34, J-35, Mumm 36, Farr 40, NYYC Swan 42
Words from George Hinman
“Over the past few years I have been pleased to see US Sailing moving in a focused and streamlined direction. I attended the Yacht Club Summit hosted by US Sailing in Chicago and was excited to see 187 yacht clubs in attendance. If you start to educate and involve the yachts clubs in what US Sailing has to offer to the sport of sailing, the members and the sailors will follow.
The more US Sailing listens to the sailors around the country, the more effective it will become in developing its programs and direction for the future. Communications and marketing are two areas that need constant attention.”
A Q&A with George Hinman
1. Collaboration was a popular theme for the attendees at the Sailing Leadership Forum earlier this year. How can community sailing centers, yacht clubs and other sailing organizations collaborate with each other more on key initiatives to grow sailing?
I live in Newport, RI where there are three yacht clubs and a very active community boating center. Each of these institutions shares resources and manpower to fulfill a season’s racing and teaching schedule. Not a day goes by when the programs don’t talk about common interest and potential conflicts with schedules. Each organization in Newport offers a different experience for a sailor based on age, ability, and common interests.
-How can these organizations and other sailing industries integrate with their local communities to provide more awareness for prospective new sailors?
In September of each year, there is a boat show in Newport. All facets of the marine industry are represented at the show including the community sailing organizations. This is a perfect time for prospective new sailors to view a wide range of boats and talk with knowledgeable people about what is right for them. If the sport of sailing is to grow, it needs to be a partnership between industry, public entities like community boating organizations and yacht clubs.
-What can US Sailing do to help facilitate these partnerships?
One of the best ways US Sailing can help grow the sport of sailing is to bring groups of interested parties together to share what is and isn’t working with the goal of growing the sport. Forums and workshops are potential means to passing along information from ideas about running regattas to how best to start up a new sailing program. As a country, we have the most diverse sailing venues in the world. These forums can be regional or national, but would offer workshops in many areas of the sailing world. The knowledge base of US Sailing members is tremendous and sharing that knowledge is vital. The Leadership Forum in San Diego last year brought sailors and industry from all parts of the country to discuss ways to grow our sport.
2. How has US Sailing’s programs impacted your overall sailing experience?
No one could have more enjoyment from a lifetime of sailing than I did; beginning with a Blue Jay in my youth, to one-design classes in my mid-life career and finally offshore racing towards the end of my sailing journey. US Sailing has always been helpful.
In my early years I benefited from having learned from US Sailing Certified Instructors to build my basic sailing skills. Graduating to larger one-design classes, such as the E-22 and Farr 40, certified race officers made the racing at our National Championships the best possible. Sailing offshore can always involve danger. US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Seminars serve as a benchmark for safe ocean racing. I attend their workshops before all ocean races.
These are only a few examples of how US Sailing has impacted my sailing experiences.
3. Is it important for sailors to be members of US Sailing??
The key financial ingredient to the success of US Sailing is the size of its membership. In many sports across the country, such as soccer or lacrosse, it is mandatory to join the national organizing authority to compete. That is not the case in sailing.
One of the vision statements of US Sailing is to be the leader in training and certification in support of the racing sailor and in facilitating access to sailing. Each year hundreds of individuals take training and certification courses to make sailing a better experience for sailor throughout the country. We need a growing membership to afford these services.
One of the biggest challenges that US Sailing is faced with is informing the sailing public of the many services that it provides to its members. The most common response from sailors with whom I talk with about the importance of US Sailing is “I didn’t realize how much US Sailing actually does.” As an organization, we have to get the word out.