Brian Corbett

We are very sad to announce that our beloved chairman Brian Corbett died on Tuesday 29 June after a long illness that caught up with him very quickly in the last few weeks. Hard to believe, in his eighties Brian was still working for the NHS and regularly racing his Herreshoff half-rater Winifred, pictured. A true old-school gentleman and generous to a fault, Brian earned the respect and affection of all who knew him. He championed the interests of all forms of boating locally and elsewhere in the UK, with a special interest in classic sailing yachts and was a leading light in the Old Gaffers Association, the Association of Yachting Historians, the Maritime Heritage Trust and the Heritage Harbours movement. Brian was instrumental in Medway becoming Britain’s first Heritage Harbour. We will miss him.

Some of the many tributes we have received are in the Replies to this post.

Brian’s funeral will be on 1st August, see details in other post.

8 thoughts on “Brian Corbett

  1. Privileged to have known Brian for several years. A real gentleman, always good company and with an endless sailing anecdotes.
    What an organiser he was. Participating fully in the Dutch Invasion of the Medway event. Never happier that when sailing “Winifred”. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and condolences to his family.
    Lindsay & Rosemary Chivers

  2. What a shock. I only knew Brian during my short time on the committee of the MSBA. He was a true gentleman and completely committed to his passion and role as Chairman. He will be truly missed by all who knew him. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and associates. RIP Brian.

  3. This really is very sad news. We dined with Brian just a few months ago, he was full of energy, positive and an inspiration as always.

  4. From Helen Hofmann, former Chair of RYA London & South East:

    I knew Brian through the RYA London and SE Regional Committee first as a member myself and then as Chair. Brian was always very supportive and helped represent the MSBA for many years, working hard for MSBA. He also made a presentation to the RYA national Council about the Medway area. He was passionate about sailing and was keen to support the clubs and organisations in the Medway area. He also loved Classic boats, and enthusiastically supported the Heritage Harbours initiative with national and international connections, in addition to many other boating interests, commitments and connections. Not least, he was keen to see young people enthused for the sport he loved. God Speed to Brian as he leaves our horizon and reaches another.

  5. I am gobsmacked. It may have been a long illness but it didn’t stop him coming to the club and showing no signs.

    When and where’s the funeral?


    • Hi Archie
      Brian’s funeral is on 1st August, 12pm at St Nicholas Church Strood, wake at Medway Yacht Club

  6. I am so, so very saddened by this news. I will miss his ‘craggy’ smile…
    We had drinks together at MYC last November when I was on a sail over from Essex with my ‘Canadian’ brother Graham Ardley. Graham remarked on Brian’s friendliness, attention and that he listened to what an old river hand had to say about sailing on the May Flower during late 1950s and the 1960s on the river as a ‘barge boy’…
    I always enjoyed our ‘annual’ chats whenever we met up and when he came aboard Whimbrel to welcome us at the MYC or at Queenborough’s traditional festivals. His honesty and unselfish offers of any sort of help was inspiring.
    Last autumn Brian told me that he was ‘dealing’ with a further outbreak of cancer and it would be as it would be. Very brave.
    I shall always remember his compassion as I travelled my own cancer journey.
    Brian Corbett had a zest for life, a real get on and do person and a real gentleman…
    Sail on Brian, for ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.