Honouring Captain Phil Wade: ‘Live in the fast lane rather than die in the slow lane.’

Introduction by Jens Oomes

Introduction by Jens Oomes

Whether you have or haven’t had the honour to meet Cpt. Phil Wade, these contributions of three of his friends will inspire anyone. Inspiring people has always been Phil’s superpower. 

On 18 November ‘23, the Palma yachting scene lost a father figure with the sudden passing of Captain Phil Wade. Known in the professional yachting industry mostly as the captain of S/Y Timoneer and as the co-founder of Marine Inspirations. A charity organisation that introduces less-advantaged youngsters to the marine and yachting industry. It was founded when Phil met Anthony Just, an industry colleague, and they decided to pursue and develop a vision they shared in common. Theo Jack is a South African alumnus and beneficiary of the Marine Inspirations initiative. He is a first-hand witness of the gift that this organisation gives. But Phil was larger than life. You could write a book about him. Colin Squire had already published an extensive article about Phil as soon as he had met him. So has The Islander Magazine.

Phil’s passing was very sudden, perhaps in line with his motto: ‘Live in the fast lane rather than die in the slow lane.’ It must have been mere hours before he passed that he sent me an email titled ‘Un-greening the greenies’. He was cooking up a new plan to help superyacht captains in his close circle guide new talent into our industry. I will do my bit to make sure this plan will be one of the many things about Phil that will live on.  

Theo Jack: Alumnus of Marine Inspiration

Phil Wade’s legacy is a testament to his boundless generosity and impact on countless lives, including mine. His dedication through Marine Inspirations revolutionized the destinies of disadvantaged youth in South Africa. In 2017, Phil, alongside Anthony Just, granted me an incredible opportunity when I was sailing at the Royal Cape Yacht Club Sailing Accademy in Cape Town. This sparked a transformational journey for me. Phil’s charity, Marine Inspirations, empowered underprivileged students mostly from Cape Town and Durban by funding educational trips to Mallorca, paying for School bursaries and so much more. This was an unimaginable dream for kids accustomed to limited horizons. I was fortunate to be part of this life-altering experience when Phil and Anthony assisted me in getting my first Atlantic crossing aboard MY Mirage.

As a township kid, boarding an airplane to the Caribbean and consequently sail across the Atlantic Ocean seemed highly improbable. Yet it happened for me. After that crossing I found myself in Phil’s home in Mallorca, shaping my future. With unwavering support and mentorship, he tirelessly assisted me with my CV and introduced me to industry connections, treating me like family. Phil’s vision transcended colour. He believed in universal joy, impacting countless lives in the yachting industry.

Phil Wade’s transformative impact on the world and unwavering kindness will forever be remembered. Rest peacefully, Phil Wade; your legacy endures in the hearts and futures of those you touched.”

Colin Squire: Friend and publisher of Yachting Matters

The loss of a great friend is a tough subject to write about…  Phil was one of those. Phil and I were forever exchanging emails or talking on the phone. 

I met Phil back in 2007. His wife Anne presented him to me at my stand at the Monaco Yacht Show,. ‘Meet Phil, you need to put his life story in your next edition of Yachting Matters’ she said. Little did I know just what that story would entail. We sat and we talked for hours, somewhere I am sure I still have it on a tape. But what a story! At the time he was the Captain of Timoneer, a yacht he would often allow me to race onboard. He was the Captain and you would not argue with Phil! But afterwards you partied with him. He had an on-off switch. Both to be respected. Of course you would see him the next day: ‘How are you Phil?’ He’d reply: ‘Damn fine, splendid’ surely meaning quite the opposite! But that was Phil.

Even when he was retired his mind would be turning over the next project which would inevitably embrace more sea time and aim to bring more lads and ladies over from Cape Town where he grew up, or some small township in South Africa. He never stopped promoting Marine Inspirations, until the day he passed away.

Phil is responsible for a great many other young people coming into the industry, many now running some of the largest power and sail yachts around. They all owe him a massive debt, something that could never be repaid, but they all stand proud and are without doubt, each in there own way, great members of an industry that Phil loved and spent his life enjoying. He was their mentor at the beginning of their own personal journeys, and I have no doubt all aspire to his professionalism and honesty.

He would never stay still… until now… Rest in peace my friend. You lived your life to the fullest. Your legacy and our memories will live on. You will not be forgotten.

Anthony Just: Friend and co-founder of Marine Inspirations.

Friends and colleagues will miss Phil dearly after his sad and sudden passing. Especially his dynamic and driven enthusiasm for ‘getting things done’. He was tirelessly open to creating and supporting networking opportunities that could lead to proactive results – and promoting new projects. 

With his long and experienced career as a seasoned yacht captain and adventurer, and with dear Anne assisting at his side, Phil uniquely created so often the required catalyst for fun and engaging gatherings, life-changing events, and impactful initiatives. Even when his health was at times failing him. A big man with a big and engaging smile and personality, sharing his wealth of experience and enthusiasm.

From all of us at the Marine Inspirations initiative and from all of the youngsters who we assisted and mentored during our many projects, with the immeasurable help of our friends and industry colleagues, our warm gratitude and salutes reach out to speed-and-spirit Phil gently and happily on his next voyage. 

We share both this wish, and our deepest sympathies, with Anne and all of Phil’s family and long-standing friends. Phil Wade’s life was certainly one that was actively embraced and demonstrated by the man himself, and his friendship, largesse, teaching, and instructive guidance were an inspiration to so many.

 

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