Sailing Scholarship Honors Montvale’s Ralph Hinsch

Pull the line, hoist the sail, now duck!

Whether on the open ocean or a small lake, sailing requires the sort of agility, strength, and mental sharpness that yield countless other benefits in a sailor’s life.

It’s among the reasons Ralph Hinsch so loved sailing at the Nyack Boat Club. Like his father, Ralph started sailing at a young age and kept at the sport throughout his life.

“He was always racing,” recalls Elaine Hinsch of her husband. “If we went out on a boat, even if it was the Queen Mary up against us, he’d want to see if we could beat them.”

When Ralph Hinsch passed away in 2001, Elaine was overwhelmed with stories from their friends at the Nyack Boat Club and from other sailing organizations about how Ralph had helped them become better sailors.

“It’s what he was known for,” she says. “Always providing that help, that tip on how to win the next race.”

Through these relationships, the Hinsches found the sailing community to be like family. And so Elaine decided that she would support this family, and honor Ralph’s memory, through a collegiate sailing scholarship.

The R.D. Hinsch Collegiate Sailing Scholarship, administered by the Community Foundation of New Jersey, seeks to expand the benefits of sailing – namely skill building and in social activity settings. The fund provides one scholarship of up to $12,000 to a graduating high school senior or current undergraduate student who demonstrates an active and continued interest in sailing.

“He always thought sailing was the greatest thing kids could do,” says Elaine. “What is wonderful about this scholarship fund, is that we are helping young people develop an interest in the sport and start to experience some of these benefits.”

By partnering with the Community Foundation, Elaine is able to focus on the good work of the fund and have a staff member handle the administration, from contacting universities to corresponding with applicants. “It’s all so much easier for me,” she says.

The Community Foundation of New Jersey is proud to work with Elaine Hinsch in honoring the memory of her husband – “a sailor’s sailor” – Ralph D. Hinsch.

To learn more about the R.D. Hinsch Sailing Scholarship or to create a scholarship fund of your own, please contact Faith Krueger at 973-267-5533 or