Canadian Radio Yachting Association, RC Sailing

In Memorium – Barry Fox

It is with a heavy heart that I am notifying our CRYA members of the recent passing of Mr. Barry Fox on Sunday morning February 16th after a year long battle with Pancreatic Cancer. His three children were with him, and his passing was peaceful.

When first diagnosed, Barry was given three months, but responded well to treatment that gave us an additional year with him. He was working right to the end on CRYA and IOM activities as Western Region Director and as IOM Class Secretary.

Barry’s influence and contribution extended far outside the borders of Canada. Barry was a long-time member of the IOM ICA Executive, serving as its Secretary for many years and his administrative support to radio sailing, diligent attention to detail, selflessness, and humor will be genuinely missed by all that knew him.

Barry was a friend to many in the sailing community, helping newcomers with boat building, rigging and radio equipment, but also helping the whole IOM community in his unselfishness and willingness to help run events, at the expense of his own participation. 

A measure of his contribution is the outpouring of comments from around the world. Here are some personal comments from sailors that Barry influenced.

From IOMICA Executive

Fred Rocha USA Rest In Peace dear friend.

Gary Boell USA I traded emails with Barry on Thursday morning of last week when driving down to the San Diego IOM Mid-Winters — and had a very heartfelt exchange. I feel privileged to have called him my friend, as he was a tireless mentor to me in the role that I inherited from him within IOMICA. He always had “time” for me, and had a rather dry wit that I’ll miss dearly. His selflessness, passion, and common sense solutions will be hard to replace in the North American radio sailing community. I am genuinely sadden by his passing, however feel blessed to have shared the travels, events, and laughs that we did. He was simply a “great guy”.

Olivier Cohen France I could work with him at IOMICA, and couldn’t say better. RIP and fair winds Barry.

New Zealand

Roy Granich –  Barry was such an inspiration with his dedication to the administration and particularly the fairness of our sport. His help to me personally with beta testing of my SHRS software was immeasurable.

From USA

Chuck LeMahieu – Barry was one of the truly great people in radio sailing. Traveled across North America and the world to help organize run and sail in regattas, was a keen mind in helping decipher the rules , and was just a great friend.

Brig North -Barry was the most calm person I have been around.  When I went to my first IOM regatta we had several insane guys racing IOMs and several other yellers.  It was damn near a brawl, but Barry kept the fists from flying, if not the words!!  Those guys all quit sailing IOMs shortly thereafter, and it got a lot more fun!!  But, Barry also moved to Canada from Houston, so I didn’t get to have the face to face as much as I’d have liked. He was also a very gracious host when our group traveled to Canada


Andrew Baak Very sad, he was one who helped us grow the RC sport in Alberta!! I remember getting picked up by him at the ferry so I could go to Saltspring so I could see what IOM sailing was all about. He was truly a legend and will be missed!!

From British Columbia

Tom Murphy. It is with great sadness that I share with the rc sailing community that we have lost Barry Fox today. One of the most selfless people I have ever met..Fair winds # 46

Nigel Sixmeter I will remember him as the Yoda of IOM sailing. Always willing to listen, sometimes harsh with his comments but always truthful. He did so much of the boring background work that makes it easier for us all to go have fun. We all owe him a great debt of thanks.

Mike Claxton Very sad news – we have lost a fellow with a wealth of knowledge and always willing to take the time to help others enjoy the hobby – we will miss him.

Peter Stevens A huge loss to everyone who knew him, from racing cars to racing IOM’s, Barry was a mentor, innovator, and the just the nicest, most generous person you will ever meet. 

Julian Laffin I’m very sorry to hear this news. I have many fond memories of sailing with Barry in the past and the great regattas he ran. 

David Cook Barry was my mentor in common sense with his ‘Make it reliable and keep it simple’ philosophy in design. Barry was the first person I called when I decided to design and build a robotic arm to feed myself. Barry taught me to embrace change. Shortly after we first met in 08 he razed me on the 5/16″ bolt I used to fasten the keel on my Cook 66, the first boat I ever designed. For years Barry picked up delivered my IOMs to/from Beaver Lake. He was instrumental in allowing me to continue my passion for sailing. Good bye my friend! Thanks for everything. I’m glad we had that great chat last week. Your kindness lives on in many.

Rosemary Harbrecht & Martin Herbert had a lovely visit with Barry last Sunday after VIM. He was in good spirits and was telling us lots of stories about his life. We had to stop him so he would eat his dinner! He loved the IOM world and was always willing to spread his enthusiasm. Will miss him greatly.

Bob Gilligan So sorry to hear about Barry. He was the ultimate IOM supporter and he will be missed by everyone in the sailing community.

Neil Stevens I am very sad to hear this my memories of Barry were all amazing super helpful and made me feel welcome I will miss him greatly!

Colin Aldridge He was as nice a person as you’ll ever meet. A great guy. He and I talked motor racing at some length during the 2017 Nationals in High River. RIP.

Peter Grimm. Smooth sailing Barry Fox! I had just spent a pile of time with Barry over email and FaceTime phone calls sorting out details for the Regionals. Barry Fox, you were one hell of a guy!!

Mike Claxton Very sad news – we have lost a fellow with a wealth of knowledge and always willing to take the time to help others enjoy the hobby – we will miss him.

John Kelsey – Barry was a true Gentleman, always there for any & everyone.  Smooth seas my friend. Your legacy lives on.

John Thomas I purchased my used Ska from Barry Fox . He was immensely helpful in teaching me about controls, radios, batteries and he assisted Adrian Harrison and me for an entire afternoon to help me assemble an A and B rig from used sails , masts and new booms and hardware. I will proudly sail #10 in his Memory at Beaver Fever. Enjoy your reunion with ones lost before you. A great one gone.

John Ball Barry was my friend and we enjoyed sailing together. When I moved to BC and returned to RC sailing around 2008, Barry was the first person I contacted. We consulted on many matters relating to the RRS, the IOM class rules, and the International scene in general. On Monday morning, I received an email on a technical issue from Europe, and my first reaction was to forward it to Barry for his views – but suddenly I realised I could not – he was gone. It hit me very hard. 

John Ball CRYA Technical Director