Sailor killed in dismasting accident

The family of Wilf Tolhurst who was killed when his yacht was dismasted in a collision during the opening day of the Regates Royales have released a statement to YM.

On Tuesday 23rd Sept Wilf Tolhurst was killed when two British yachts collided in 20-knot north-easterly winds and confused seas on the opening day of the Regates Royales in the Bay of Cannes. Wilf died at the helm of his yacht Safir, a Classic 8-Metre, when she was dismasted as a result of the collision with another yacht. The stricken Safir was then blown on to the rocks. All other crew members survived including his son Julian.

Wilf, 64, was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex and had a huge passion for life and enjoyed a variety of interests from horse racing and sailing to skiing, local conservation and golf.

Educated at Beaumont College – Windsor on leaving school Wilf joined Tolhurst Fisher the family law firm founded by his father’s Uncle Bernard Tolhurst and soon after met and married Ann Cannon in 1969 with whom he remained very happily married for nearly forty years until his death.

Living initially in Boreham before moving to Hatfield Peveril, Danbury, and finally to Langham in Essex, Wilf remained with Tolhurst Fisher for more than 30 years before retiring and founding with his son Julian Cavenham Estates Ltd a commercial property investment firm. During his life Wilf has played rugby for Blackheath and has ridden in local point to points and under rules latterly participating at an owner, trainer and steward at such events.

He was also Chairman of the Dedham Vale Society. Wilf is survived by his wife Ann, son Julian and daughter Katherine and five grandchildren Ben, Abbi, Harriet, Charlie and Amelia.