Half Staff – Hatch Brown

April 11, 2018
The legendary Hatch Brown passed away peacefully yesterday morning with his children Matt Brown, Annie Brown, and Emily Dunlap at his side. He was the beloved husband of Claire Brown. Hatch was 86 years old and instrumental in organizing sailing events through out his lifetime.Hatch taught at least 30,000 people how to sail in his tenure as the third Sailing Master and Varsity Coach at MIT for 29 years. Upon his retirement he continued to teach youth sailing in his hometown of Winthrop at the Cottage Park YC as well as run frostbite racing from November through April. He started sailing at Sandy Bay in Rockport and grew up teaching sailing at Community Boating on the Charles River. His natural talent shined brightly as he competed for Boston University and won A Division at the national dinghy championships. Always a competitive racer, Hatch won the North American Championships in the Firefly, Etchells, and Thistle classes.

Volunteerism was unwavering as Hatch served as the President of New England College Sailing, Mass Bay Sailing and Marblehead Frostbite. He judged and served on various race committees for countless local events as well as world championships and Olympic Trials. His dedication was matched by his kind-hearted teaching abilities and endless patience.

His warm smile and infinite wisdom will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.

A celebration of his life will take place at the MIT Sailing Pavilion on April 13 from 9am until noon.


BROWN, Harold “Hatch” Jr. Of Winthrop, passed away peacefully on April 11, 2018 surrounded by his loving children. He was 86 years old. Hatch was a devoted husband, father and world class sailor, coach and mentor to tens of thousands of beginning and elite sailors throughout his long, distinguished career. Hatch was born at his grandparent’s home in Rockport, MA. After graduating from West Medford High School, he served in the Korean War, as a land surveyor based in Germany. He took advantage of the GI Bill and attended Boston University, graduating in 1959. While at BU, Hatch was a champion sailor winning A Division at College Nationals and continued to compete competitively after college winning North American Championships in Etchells, Fireflies, and Thistle classes. He also shared his love and knowledge of the sport working at Community Boating on the Charles River where he met his wife, Claire.
Hatch was a manager at Sylvania for six years prior to being asked to join MIT Athletics as Head Varsity Sailing Coach in 1967. He took over as the third Sailing Master in 1975 and for the next twenty years devoted his life to the advancement of college sailing until his retirement in 1995. Many sailing regattas and service awards now bare his name. He was the 1978 Coach of the Woman’s US Sailing Championships in Holland, Judge in the 1988 Olympic Trials, Inductee into BU Athletics Hall of Fame and the Intercollegiate Sailing Hall of Fame, Director of NE Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) for over 14 years, Commodore and Champion at Community Boating, and Marblehead Frostbite Sailing Club, and President of Mass Bay Sailing Association.

In retirement Hatch remained very active at his local Cottage Park Yacht Club in Winthrop serving on the race committee and acting as mentor to sailors in the youth sailing program and frostbite racing series. He enjoyed racing his model boat in the CR914 class at CPYC and in Marblehead. In addition to his passion for sailing, Hatch was an avid reader, fly fisherman, animal lover and animal advocate.

Hatch’s dedication to the sport he loved was matched by his kind-hearted teaching abilities and endless patience. His warm smile and infinite wisdom will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.

He was the beloved husband of the late Claire W. (Wallace) Brown. Devoted father of Matthew G. Brown of Winthrop, Anne L. Brown of Cambridge and Emily B. Dunlap and her husband Wayne of Austin, TX. Loving grandfather of Carolyn, Justin, Lisa and Ian Dunlap. Dear brother of the late Katherine Lorraine Lombard and Cynthia R. Psaltis.

A Memorial Service will be held at the MIT Sailing Pavilion, 134 Memorial Dr. Cambridge, MA on Sunday, May 13, from 9am-12pm. Relatives and friends are invited. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to a local animal shelter of your choice. Funeral arrangements are from the Maurice W. Kirby Funeral Home, 210 Winthrop St., WINTHROP. For guestbook, please visit: www.mauricekirbyfh.com. Maurice W. Kirby Funeral Home Winthrop 617-846-0909

Published in The Boston Globe on Apr. 15, 2018