The author Anthony Churchill, yachtsman and publisher, has sadly passed away on Wednesday (January 9) on the Isle of Wight. He was 83 years old. The Isle of Wight Observer understand he had been suffering from cancer.
Anthony Churchill happened to notice the 140th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s parents’ first meeting at a Royal Gala party off Cowes fell in 2013. To commemorate this event, he invited Winston’s descendants, and twenty visited for several days to renew the family’s close ties with the Island.
Anthony was a scholar at Cambridge University in history, and his early jobs included financial journalism. He founded a publishing company with titles including Ski, Tennis, Subaqua Scene, and publications on horses, powerboats, canoeing, windsurfing, mountains, films, and plays. His own sport was ocean racing, and the magazine ‘Seahorse’ is even today that sport’s bible.
Studying at Cambridge, he attended Moscow and its University defending the Open Market, as Chair of the University Explorers and Travellers Club, and as a representative of the Ballet Club. He was captain of College Squash. He also visited St Petersburg and the Chopin Festivals in Poland.
As trustee of Dimbola Museum, and the World Ship Trust, he chaired the ASTO Cowes Race meant for the handicapped and young who have not sailed before, and held events for Shakespeare, Omar Khayyam, Burns, Betjeman and Elgar. He started the Ventnor Piano Fund, and is Trustee of Island Concerts, and helped fund the Sea Scout’s RIB ‘Grom’ (named after the destroyer, sister to the Cowes-built ‘Blyskawica’, renowned for ‘saving’ Cowes from enemy bombing in the war).
Anthony initiated the world’s first true Round the World Race, the Whitbread – now Volvo – race, and others such as the Financial Times Clipper Race. Racing for UK, Swiss, and Hong Kong teams, he sailed with many Olympic medalists. He helped finance an America’s Cup bid, and raced for a decade on Sir Edward Heath’s Morning Cloud, winning the Sydney to Hobart yacht race as a navigator. Before his death, he lived in ‘the far south’ of the Island at Ventnor “where seas are splendidly rough or beautifully calm.”