In the past 199 issues, WindCheck has not typically printed eulogies. This is in part because so many other publications, not the least of which is Scuttlebutt, do them and do them promptly and very well. We have had exceptions. There have been certain people, bigger-than-life types, who were so key to WindCheck from the beginning and who also happened to be very important figures in the WindCheck Community, that we were duty bound to honor them. Two recently departed friends are Howie McMichael who passed last June, and Captain Henry Marx, who crossed the bar in June of ‘18. Both men believed in WindCheck’s mission from issue #1 until they left us after long and impactful lives on our sport.
As we were finalizing this issue, Geoff Ewenson, husband of Mary Iliff Ewenson, passed away on October 15 at the ridiculously young age of 50. By all accounts, Geoff Ewenson represented the very best of East Coast sailing: varied, deep and broad in his skills and, due to his extraordinarily generous personality, a part of the fabric of sailing the Northeast these past 40 years. Growing up in Newport in the 1970s and ‘80s, graduating from Tabor and attending URI where he was a two-time All-American, all led Geoff to a career as a professional sailor. He only departed New England after meeting and marrying his soulmate Mary at the end of the ‘90s, joining her and her deep roots in Annapolis.
About that time the founders of WindCheck, Anne Hannan and Chris Gill, became fans of SpinSheet while sailing in Annapolis. They picked up a copy of SpinSheet and loved the community vibe and information for the region’s sailors and thought Long Island Sound boaters would benefit from such a resource.
Matt Kreuzkamp, URI buddy of Geoff’s and mutual friend of both Anne and Chris, “introduced us to Geoff, who quickly connected us with Mary,” recalls Anne. “Mary offered tremendous support to us from the get go – and continued that support and friendship through the years. It was so typical of Mary and Geoff, what their families, friends and communities know so well – nice, supportive, generous, positive and passionate people.” Thus five years after Mary had co-founded SpinSheet with Dave Gendell, with huge support from Geoff, WindCheck was born. “Mary and Co. invited Anne and me down to spend a few days with them to experience what their day-to-day was like, as well as to share their positive and negative experiences to aid us in leaping a few start-up obstacles that they’d had to work through,” adds Chris. “It was a huge help and offered without a second thought.”
It is with somber and heavy hearts that we extend our deepest condolences to Mary. Without her, WindCheck would likely not exist. At the time of this writing, Mary and her family plan on establishing a foundation in Geoff’s name. Please learn more by searching under EWE Spirit on FaceBook or by checking in at spinsheet.com.
Looking forward to honoring Geoff the next time I am out on the water,
Benjamin V. Cesare