Greg Fisher, Profile in Pro Sailing
Published on July 23rd, 2017
Greg is a former All-American collegiate sailor, acclaimed sail maker, and the Director of Sailing for the College of Charleston Cougars who recently won the 2017 College Sailing Team Race and Coed Nationals. An accomplished sailor himself, Greg has won 21 North American and National Championships in seven different classes. A native of Columbus, Ohio, he earned his All-American status at Ohio Wesleyan and soon after went on to a successful career in sail making for 34 years.
Greg owned his own loft, Fisher Sails before joining North Sails in 1991 where he handled many One-Design classes. In 2010 Greg became the College of Charleston’s Director of Sailing. Under his guidance as director, the Charleston Cougars have won 3 Fowle Trophies, 9 different nationals, and produced 25 All-American sailors.
What drew you to competitive sailing?
Both my brother Matt and I started pretty young, we were like 5 or 6 when we started crewing for our Dad in his Lightning. We were very fortunate to have a super supportive family when it came to sailing. My Dad actually gave up his own sailing so he could really help us focus on ours. We had our own Lightnings at 11 and 12 (yes it raised a few eyebrows!) and our Dad took us to a bunch of regattas, both Junior events and Lightning, all through the summers.
He never really pushed us hard but gave us every opportunity to sail as much as we wanted so we could really enjoy the sport, which we did. Our club in central Ohio- Buckeye Lake, was very competitive and enthusiastic in those days. There was a strong one design racing focus as well as great passion for youth sailing/racing. Members of our club, and of course our parents, would all go to the major Junior regattas to cheer us on. We were super lucky.
Tell us about your college career. What did you take away from it?
College Sailing is when I really grew attached to the sport and realized it was more to me than just a hobby. I learned a great deal in college about the value of boat speed and sailing conservatively. I also appreciated the value of practice and coaching. Most important, I made friends- true quality people- who I still enjoy sailing and hanging out with today!
How did you get into the sail making industry?
In my early college years, I worked summers for a one design boat builder in Cleveland. We built a bunch of Snipes and Lightnings and I l really enjoyed it. But it was my Dad who suggested I just check out sailmaking before I commit to boatbuilding full time. I moved to Newport, RI and started working for Bill and Doug Shore of Shore Sails. They were not only talented sailmakers and made some very speedy sails, they were also truly customer oriented. They really made sure their customers knew how to use their sails and get the most from them. I was really taken with sailmaking. Full Story.