Tom Hutchinson dies

Tom Hutchinson was the founder of Future Fibres. Photo: Future Fibres Tom Hutchinson was the founder of Future Fibres. Photo: Future Fibres
Industry Database

Future Fibres’ founder, Tom Hutchinson, has died after sustaining fatal injuries while kitesurfing off the Isle of Wight.

Tom, aged 52, was born on the Isle of Wight and spent his adult life working in and around the sea.

He left school at 16 and became a deckhand on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean before becoming a delivery skipper.

His career progressed to running a workshop in California servicing yachts competing in the America’s Cup, an opportunity that enabled him to make international contacts in the yachting world.

Future Fibres was established 25 years’ ago on the Isle of Wight and soon moved its manufacturing to London.

America's Cup teams

When New Zealand won the America’s Cup, the company transferred its business to Auckland, later moving the operation to Valencia, Spain, where it continued to supply America’s Cup teams and also other campaigns.

The company was acquired by Southern Spars, part of the North Technology Group, in 2014.

“Tom will be remembered for his energy and infectious enthusiasm, along with his extreme can-do attitude,” Future Fibres statement. “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.

Charismatic

“Tom’s loss comes as a deep shock to the Future Fibres community and we express our deepest and sincere condolences to Tom’s family and friends.”

His father Francis added: “Tom’s work took him all over the world, which suited his free-spirited, charismatic personality and he made many life-long friends in the process.

“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.”

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