Sailability Chairman Mike Rawbone Passes Away
Mike Rawborne passed away on August 3, aged 75 (Image: Sailability HK)

Mike Rawbone, influential figure within the Para sailing community, passed away on August 3. 

Mike’s passion for sailing and determination to make sailing accessible to all led him to co-found global charity Sailability’s first Hong Kong branch with his wife Kay in 2009, which enriched the lives of thousands of disabled and underprivileged people, helping to boost their confidence and self-esteem through teaching them how to sail. 


Mike with his wife, Kay (Image: Sailability HK)

Over 3,000 have benefitted from Sailability Hong Kong’s programmes, which include programmes that cater to the deaf, blind, those with spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, brain injuries, the elderly, and mental wellness groups. Some sailors have gone on to compete internationally at championships with great success. 

Apart from building Hong Kong’s Para sailing community, Mike was also active in the Asian Para sailing circle. He organised a Para Sailing Development Programme in 2017 among other world sailing events, and provided equipment and logistical support to other countries at the Para Sailing World Championships to make their participation possible. 

In an obituary, World Sailing describes Mike as “passionate and hard-working, never allowing any obstacles to get in his way of sharing his love of the sport, and was a real people person; always a pleasure to be around”. It adds that “the positive impact both Mike and Kay had on Para sailing in the country cannot be underestimated”, with the two being “pivotal in increasing participation in and raising awareness of Para sailing”. 

Mike leaves behind his wife Kay, his three children, Rachel, Joanne, and David, as well as seven grandchildren.  

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