Phil Wade, one of Lawhill’s most passionate supporters and the co-founder of the maritime mentoring initiative,, passed away suddenly on 18 November 2023. 

Phil - 1960

Phil – 1960

Click on the links below to read maritime journalist Brian Ingpen’s tribute to Phil and a montage of photo memories relating to his work on Marine Inspirations and his relationship with Lawhill.

Cape Times – Phil Wade

Montage – Phil Wade

Video tributes to Phil:




The below is the EDITED version of the above video



Phil Wade was born in Purley, England but arrived in Cape Town on his third birthday with his emigrating family and grew up under apartheid. He started his career in the Merchant Navy after a stint at the General Botha merchant marine training college, an experience he credits with “turning his life around”.

After eight years in the Merchant Navy, Phil Wade began his sailing career in 1970 following an invitation to join a yacht sailing from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, and after a fairly short time he was offered a paid sailing job to take a 123 foot Schooner built in 1906 from the Caribbean to the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Phil’s new career was launched, and he has since sailed as ‘Skipper’ for many interesting yacht owners on a wide variety of yachts and to many challenging and exotic locations in the world.

He was a well-respected Superyacht captain and has crewed aboard many racing yachts and his career at sea took many colourful turns including stints as a spear fisherman, a self-confessed ‘sea gypsy’ delivery captain, racing on behalf of Australia, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea in prestigious regattas.

He was on board Simon le Bon’s Maxi Drum as Skip Novak’s mate when she capsized in the 1985 Fastnet Race after her 14-tonne keel sheered off the hull.

Phil retired in 2015 after being the Captain of the 45-metre super yacht Timoneer, as well as her predecessor, for a total of 25 years whilst the yachts were under the ownership of an American family.

In 2014, Phil Wade co-founded Marine Inspirations ( with Anthony Just.

Please visit the Marine Inspirations website to read more about this life-changing initiative.