Founder of Hobie Cat Australia passes away
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Founder of Hobie Cat Australia passes away



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Mark Pryke, Wednesday, 14 December 2005

Malcom McCartney co-founder of Hobie Cat Australia passes away


Malcolm Francis McCartney

18 July 1933 to 7 December 2005


It is with heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my very good friend Malcolm McCartney. Although he had suffered from a sever accident last year, Malcolm was 95% recovered and was working and traveling. His death was sudden and unexpected.


I already owned my first Hobie 14 when Malcolm caught me snooping around the side of his factory in Brookvale, Sydney. I was keen to see the manufacturing process. When I told him I was already the proud owner of a Hobie, he took me inside and showed me the factory. That was 1973 and we have been firm friends ever since.


Malcolm and his partner Denny Keogh built Keyo surfboards before they went on a World trip looking for a new project. They met Hobie Alter and soon commenced a new business, Hobie Cat Australia (HCA).

Malcolm was always a “hands on” business man. He made many friends amongst his employees and Hobie sailors. It was a credit to his personal warmth that many remained friends to the end. Malcolm started the Hobie Class in Australia and traveled to a number of Hobie World Championships. It warmed his heart to see how many Hobie caters went on to become famous sailors. One such sailor was the late Ian Bashford who, at his untimely death, owned Malcolm’s former Hobie Cat Australia. Bill Sykes and Kim Thomas are two sailing names that will be known to many International Hobie sailors. Both worked for Malcolm at HCA. Both remained close personal friends. Malcolm also took great delight to see how many current and former Hobie sailors went on to become International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Officials. At last count: 1International Umpire, 3 International Instructors, 4 International Judges and 6 International Race Officers. Malcolm was justly proud of what he helped achieve in the world of sailing. He inspired many to strive to achieve greater things.

Malcolm was always generous with his friends and more importantly he gave freely of his time. He was much loved by my family. When my wife and I had Malcolm over to dinner recently, both daughters left husbands and kids at their respective homes, just to have dinner with Malcolm. Not just my family but all who knew Mal for so long, loved and respected him.


He never stopped working. In recent years he started a cattle breeding business in Thailand. He had many Thai friends and was adopted by the family of his Business partner. Uncle Malcolm. They adored him.

I was fortunate to have dinner with Malcolm and some friends a few days before going to a recent sailing event. We were booked to have dinner again Christmas week. We will miss him.



Mark Pryke