Top racing sailor loses battle against cancer
The well-known yachtsman Kit Hobday has lost his two-year battle with
Kit has been a lifelong sailing devotee and won his first major race sixty
years ago. At 17 he was the founder and Commodore of the Thorpe Bay Yacht
Club and has since been involved in many top-level events, including the
America’s Cup, Admiral’s Cup, and Commodores’ Cup.
In his early years, Kit was a committed dinghy sailor – he was Hornet
World Champion twice – before moving into the Soling keelboat and
eventually owning seven of the then Olympic class keelboat. Then came the
move into offshore boats with a long string of yachts named Bear,
including Geriatric Bear, Erotic Bear, Independent Bear, and mostly
recently and most famously, Bear of Britain, the Farr 52 with which he won
the 2001 America’s Cup Jubilee Regatta and the 2004 Commodores’ Cup.
Kit was a passionate supporter of young sailing talent and founded the
Bear of Britain racing academy to give opportunities for young sailors to
race a large and competitive keelboat. Recently, Kit teamed up with Peter
Harrison, who owns Chernikeef2, another Farr 52, to create the Yacht
Racing Academy in association with UKSA.
Two years ago Kit was diagnosed with prostate cancer and since then he and
his wife Susie worked tirelessly to increase awareness of the disease –
through their Ignorance Isn’t Bliss campaign which has been the official
charity of the Round the Island Race – and to raise funds to improve
facilities at St Mary’s Hospital’s Chemotherapy Department.
Kit leaves his wife Susie, who he described as his best friend, four
children and seven grandchildren.