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A charismatic character in international rigging will be missed.

We’re sad to report that earlier this month Tom Hutchinson, founder of Future Fibres, a leading supplier to successive America’s Cups teams, passed away having sustained fatal injuries whilst kiteboarding at Compton, on the Isle of Wight in the UK.

Praised across the industry for his drive and enthusiasm, Hutchinson was born in Brighstone on the Isle of Wight in 1967. The love of the sea led him to leave school at 16 to work as deckhand on a yacht in the Med. A yacht delivery skipper by the tender age of 18, he safely delivered many across the Atlantic.

With an interest in rigging, he moved to San Diego, California and embarked on an apprenticeship, running a workshop servicing competing America’s Cup yachts.  A job which enabled him to develop many international contacts, contacts which were invaluable when he established his rigging company, Future Fibres in 1997. The company transferred Auckland when New Zealand won the America’s Cup and on to Valencia four years later to produce rigging for many campaigns and continue supplying America’s Cup contestants.

Tom’s father Francis told the County Press, “Tom’s work took him all over the world, which suited his free-spirited, charismatic personality, and he made many life-long friends. But the draw of the Island was always with him and he returned to his cliff-top cottage whenever he could to pursue his great love of kiteboarding in the Back of the Wight.”

Future Fibres posted their heart-felt condolences: “Tom will be remembered for his energy and infectious enthusiasm, along with his extreme can-do attitude. Future Fibres was the perfect vehicle for Tom’s combined love for water sports and passion for innovation, taking the company from it’s very humble beginnings on the Isle of Wight to an internationally recognised company with a reputation for innovative products that helped our customers go faster and gain an edge on the race course, be it the field of yacht racing, motorsports, or indeed any arena in which Tom felt he could make a difference.” 

We join them in wishing Tom’s family, friends and work colleagues our deepest condolences.

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