August 2007

Gregg Bennett: From AYC To Alinghi

Greg Bennett, well-known to Arizona Yacht Club members — even as a kid — is now shore crew for Alinghi, defender, 32nd America’s Cup.

Bennett has spent 27 years in yachting, having begun to sail at age 5. By the time he was 12, he was racing with the AYC and moving onto racing Lasers, Snipes, and Etchells.

Before attending university, Bennett worked in San Diego for four years as a rigger for a sailing supplier. He now works as a rigger for Alinghi, which means that he maintains all the spars and the running rigging on the famous craft.

According to Bennett, although it was difficult to leave his U.S. job of mechanical designer for a defense company, he couldn’t turn down the chance to work with Alinghi. He began with the team in September 2005.

Bennett says that he enjoys working on a project at this level, “the pinnacle of sailing.” He adds, “What's special about this team is that it's an open forum. In other teams, doors are closed and ideas are not fluid. There are constantly new challenges and always new problems to solve.

"There are no bad moments in sailing; even a bad day in sailing is a good day."
AYC member Dennis Martinelli comments, “As a Junior, I can remember Greg sailing around long after everyone else had put their boats on the trailer and were getting ready for dinner.  If it wasn't for darkness, he probably would have stayed out even longer.”

Arizona Boating & Watersports congratulates another Arizonan who began in the “desert” and became an important part of the world’s sailing scene.