Barry Cass, landlord of the Duke of York in Cowes for 50 years, died of Covid in St Mary's Hospital this week.

Tributes have been flooding in for the well-loved publican, who was believed to be the youngest landlord in the country when he first took on the pub.

Barry, 74, was also respected in the world of powerboat racing and the sport also paid its respects.

His wife Sally and their daughters are in mourning but Sally said: "He was a friend to everyone but to us he was everything and it’s very daunting to think how dull our lives will be without him."

The British Powerboat Racing Club said on Facebook: "We are deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Cowes landlord and powerboat racer Barry Cass this week.

"Barry, became landlord of the famous pub in 1969, in doing so, becoming one of the youngest landlords in the country at the age of just 21; later becoming one of the country's longest serving.

Isle of Wight County Press: Barry Cass and crew in his powerboat.Barry Cass and crew in his powerboat.

Living in Cowes, the home of yachting, it was to be the annual powerboat race that became his passion; and alongside family and friends, went on to purchase and race in the beautiful Class 2 monohull J&B Whiskey.

"The team included local photographer Ken Beken, Mike Kitcher and Dorian Griffith. J&B was the first introduction for Dorian to offshore racing, for which, Dorian has much to be thankful for, including being a loving grandfather to his children.

Isle of Wight County Press: Barry Cass, back, left, with the rest of the crew.Barry Cass, back, left, with the rest of the crew.

"Push the pedal to the metal on your powerboat in heaven Barry!"

Island musician Alex Katsikides was one of many to play in the pub and said on Facebook: "It’s not very often in life that you meet someone that is truly special, but on every meeting it was abundantly clear that Barry was just that. He always made you feel good, cheered you up, with a tale to tell and consistently on the wind up. A captivating raconteur. He was a real class act, the true definition of a gentleman.

He supported our band for many years and every year we’d have a meeting about the upcoming Cowes Week, where my planned financial negations were always snuffed out expertly by a, “same deal as last year” and a quick rub of the hands, before thrusting a cheque in my direction, even before I could get a word out.

"I’m very proud to have been part of Barry’s little family and will be forever grateful for the way he treated us. Very special memories indeed.

Isle of Wight County Press: What Cowes RNLI said on TwitterWhat Cowes RNLI said on Twitter

The Andrew Cassell Foundation for disability sailing posted on Facebook: "Barry was a huge welcoming sight for the foundations visiting sailors, supporting many at the Duke of York, and would often go out of his way to adapt rooms and tables to enable wheelchair users and sailors with amputations to have access, such as raising table legs in the restaurant.

"Barry had a huge wealth of knowledge in the industry especially in powerboating and his friendship and kindness to all will be sadly missed."

And the Real Vectis Veterans football team, who made the pub their clubhouse, said: "Barry and Sally were the perfect hosts. They always made us and our opposition teams welcome, fed us chips and Barry often gave us a terrible joke as he left the pub after a long day.

"Thanks for the memories Barry."