Oliver Hurwitz ’21 continued a storied tradition of Hotchkiss students representing their country by traveling to Poland this summer to compete in the 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships.
Hurwitz and his crew, Ethan Froelich, represented the United States as the only boat in the 420 boys class at the event, which includes nine different classes spread out among boys teams, girls teams, and mixed teams. Each country is allowed to enter only one male and one female team or single sailor in each class.
Qualifying for Worlds required Hurwitz and Froelich to navigate a gauntlet of the best American sailors last winter. As a result of winning the Youth Worlds Qualifying Series, the team earned the right to represent the United States in Poland.
The team finished sixth out of 30 countries in his class, including two second-place results and places in the top half of every one of the nine races sailed. The field in Hurwitz’s class provided stiff competition, with every team except the winners posting at least one double-digit finish.
“The competition was unlike any competition I’ve ever experienced. The points at the top were very tight and on any given day any of the top 10 could have been on the podium,” said Hurwitz.
Besides the thrill of racing for Team USA, Hurwitz reminisced fondly about the camaraderie he developed at the event. “The close relationship the USA team formed allowed us to allay some of the nerves and pressure as we knew we had a support base. We were all so grateful and proud to be part of Team USA and the special bond that came with this honor,” he said.
And the experience will perhaps yield some tangible benefits for his season this year with the Bearcats. Hurwitz noted that as a result of sharing the 420 boat with the American girls team, he and Froelich worked with the girls to develop systems that would be compatible for both teams, a situation that the Hotchkiss sailing team often finds themselves in.
“This working relationship is easily transferrable to sailing at Hotchkiss: we are oftentimes required to switch partners or sail other team’s boats,” said Hurwitz. “The ability to be flexible while also being on the same page as your teammates is extremely valuable.”