His work ethic combined with an unnatural affinity for the water, especially in rough conditions, have made him a special talent in the open water.
Hurst attended Bond University on a sporting scholarship and studied property development and business. He also competed in the third season of the television series Dancing with the Stars (Australian TV series).
Hurst competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics - finishing 11th in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, after qualifying fifth at the 2008 [World Open Water Swimming Championships] in Sevilla, Spain.
He also won a silver medal at the 1998 FINA World Swimming Championships in the 5K. He failed to qualify for the 1500m freestyle event at the 2004 Summer Olympics placing 3rd at the Australian Olympic Trials.