One of the most important figures in the history of disabled sailing died earlier this week, and while there are piles of stories in the thread about Hugh Elliot’s life, we liked this obit from SA’er “flatearth”. Share your own stories or condolences in the thread, and for a truly SA-worthy story about Elliot from “Baygal”, click this link.
Hugh Elliot had more character then just about anyone I know. While he hung up the sailing pretty much after a paralympic Sonar campaign in 2000, his time on the water didn’t slow down at all. Hugh became an International Judge in 2006, and his well travelled and weathered RIB Allegro was usually in tow with him and greatly appreciated by many regatta’s as he brought a boat.
When you’re a double amputee, the amount of energy required and spent to move around and accomplish daily tasks is enormous. When the judges met at 8:00, you might get up at 6:30 or 7, but you knew Hugh needed to be up at 4:30 to get his legs together and prepared for the day. He went out on the water, never complained, got beat up pretty well and came back the next day.
Every winter he would head to the Tampa/St Pete area and do numerous regattas, but his real joy was that his leg maker was there and he would get a tune up or a new leg.
Hugh had a dry humor, but as a well educate brit, schooled at Eton and Cambridge, knew a good joke and also how to make a bit of mischief.
This past year, I sensed that he was more tired than usual, not at just the end of the day, but in the mornings. He lived alone and was self sufficient and knew if something was wrong to get to the doctor. He slowed down a bit, but was more than happy to be in Florida as much has he could during the winter months.
He lived up to end, doing what he enjoyed. It sounds like it happened very quickly and he no longer is in any pain.
Godspeed Hugh Elliot, Godspeed.
February 6th, 2014