Isle of Wight based yacht designer, John Corby, is a colourful character. Louay Habib joined him in a Cowes hostelry to find out a bit more about the former Royal Marine and father of two.

Where did you first get into sailing and with who?

My family always had boats.   According to my parents, my first word was Boat.


John Corby and long time friend, Susie Hobday, Bear of Britain party 09.

Did you enjoy any other sports or past times in your youth, where you any good?

Snooker. We had a full size table at home. I was pretty good for a ten year old but Iʼd be rubbish now.

Who were your sporting heroes when you were growing up? They don't have to be sailing ones.

A sporting hero was Hugh Laurie, believe it or not. He stroked The First Eight at school when I was a new boy.

What was the first memorable competition that you won? 

First major win (for me anyway!) was the Flying Fifteen class in 1984 Cowes Week.

A phrase I use too much is?


I am very good at? 

Good at talking

I am very bad at?

Bad at listening

Did you make a new year's's it going?

Yes I did make a news years resolution but my friends told me to abandon the idea immediately.

What is your favourite food/drink and where would you most like to enjoy them?

I never say no to either; smoked salmon or Chateau Neuf (obviously not at the same time!) enjoyed in the company of good friends.

If I wasn't a yacht designer I would want to be a?

Loved to have been a professional snooker player.

Who do you admire from the non-sailing world and why?

Steve Jobs (Apple) for obvious reasons.   Paul McCartney after seeing him on the X-Factor.

I wish people would take more notice of...?

My son, because my daughter seems to get most of the attention.

Name a favourite book band and film.

Books: I dont read many these days but in my youth I adored Sir Peter Johnsonʼs: Guiness book of sailing facts and feats and Bob Fisher's book of the first ever Whitbread Round the World race.

Music:  Supertramp were my faves as a teenager but now I find myself listening to Girls Aloud and Lady Gaga.

Film:  Anything with Michael Caine

What is your ideal pleasure sailing scenario? (Where, boat, crew, weather etc)

My most enjoyable regattas last year were; racing IRC in Torbay regatta where the race management was truly excellent and racing my 6 meter in Cowes Classic Week.  Iʼve done plenty of racing with supposedly pro-crews in the past but Corinthian racing with mates is really what itʼs all about.

If you could transform yourself into an animal, what would it be and why?

I'd be a Meerkat and get into show business.

For more information on Corby Yachts and the MiRC handicap results calculator for iPhone and iPod Touch.