Future Fibres founder dies in kiteboarding accident

Tom Hutchinson, founder of composite rigging specialist Future Fibres, died on August 7 after sustaining fatal injuries while kiteboarding at Compton on the UK’s Isle of Wight.

According to the Isle of Wight County Press, Hutchinson’s brother Riff was on the beach when the accident happened and cared for him until the emergency services arrived.

Hutchinson, whose childhood was spent in the West Wight, left school at 16 to become a deckhand on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean. He then delivered several yachts across the Atlantic, becoming a delivery skipper at 18.

Hutchinson later took an apprenticeship and moved to San Diego in California to run a workshop servicing yachts competing in the America’s Cup.

“The opportunity enabled him to get to know all the international contacts associated with the America’s Cup, which was established in Cowes in 1851,” the County Press reports.

In 1994, Hutchinson decided to form his own rigging company, Future Fibres, specialising in carbon cables, masts, booms, spreaders and custom components for high-performance sailing craft. At the time it was based in Shoreditch, London.

When New Zealand won the America’s Cup, Future Fibres transferred its business to Auckland to service the needs of the competing yachts.

In 2014, Future Fibres was acquired by the North Technology Group (NTG) in Valencia, Spain, becoming part of its Southern Spars division.

Hutchinson leaves behind his father and brother, mother Johanna Farmer, and sister Frances.