North Sails LOFT NEWS
WHO WE ARE: KEITH CHURCH
Get To Know Your Local Sales Expert
What background do you have in sailing?
I learned how to sail a Sailfish and Sunfish in Barrington Rhode Island. As a boy I was fortunate to be able to go to sailing camp at Camp Monomoy on Cape Cod. While in High school, I built a 110 foot Sloop, “The Sloop Providence”, in Portsmouth, RI. While in college I sailed on the Black Pearl, Barclay Warburton’s H-Brig Schooner out of Bowen’s Wharf in Newport RI. Mr. Warburton assigned me to civilian crew; sailing the Coast guard Ship the Eagle out of Groton, CT to the port of Baltimore, MD.
What boats/classes do you sail?
I have sailed in PHRF regattas on many boats, my favorites being the Express 37 , GL70’s, and most recent enjoyed cruising on an XP 55 out of Chicago. I’ve always enjoyed the level of competition of One Design sailing on Penguins. I have raced on J/Boats, Sydney 38s, Farr 40s, Farr MUMM 30s, and more.
What got you into the marine industry?
When I was very young I would go to the boat yard in Barrington, RI and hang out in the ship’s store glazing over the shinny marine hardware and listening to the stories being told by the old salts. While in grade school I built models of hydroplanes. In high school I built, during the summer, a 110 foot Sloop, “The Sloop Providence” in Portsmouth RI. I started boat shows in Chicago in the mid 80’s and managed the Ship’s Store in the largest boat yard in the Midwest. A number of years ago I helped bring the 33’ daysailer; the e33 to market.
How long have you been working in the marine industry?
I’ve been in the industry for 45 years, and I’ve been selling sails for 10 years.
What do you love most about sailing and what keeps you coming back?
At first I was driven by the idea that I could move anywhere and do this kind of work. I felt like I had something to offer and contribute to this industry by making old technology products more desirable or by bringing new products to market. Ultimately, my goal is just making our customers happy with the best available options, which is North Sails. The people keep me coming back. I enjoy the interaction on the boat whether I am learning or teaching someone else, or competing for the prize.