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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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Bump-n-Grind

EIGHT BELLS - Hugh Elliot

29 posts in this topic

My good friend Hugh Elliot passed away after judging a regatta down in FL over the weekend.

He apparently wasn't feeling well and pulled his truck off to the side of I 275. Police found him.

Hugh was a double amputee that kept on sailing for many years in paralympics and other less than

full bodied events.

 

He was also an international judge.

 

He will be missed by many.

 

Fair winds my friend. I'll miss that dry brit humor of yours!

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A little info about Hugh

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We were doing a campus tour for my son last spring, a few things changed in our schedule during this week long tour of the U.S. I called Hugh for some advice on good historical places to see in Virginia, and he offered to put us up at his house. We stayed with him, and you're right about his "dry Brit humor." Very sad to lose him, great guy.

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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.

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he always said he went to Hogwarts without the wands and studied being an upper middle class twit

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Ah damn; what a shame. Great guy who will be sadly missed by many including my family and I.

 

I'm sitting here trying to recall if he was at the SSA NYE dinner and kicking myself for not leaving my party and chatting with him for a bit.

 

My youngest knows him from her time sailing a Snipe with me. She hated big breeze but hated quitting more and so we found ourselves racing in the Bay in 25 knots and cold water one Fall day. Don't recall the exact reason for the capsize but it was a bit of a yard sale and I told her "whatever you do, don't let go of the boat as I right it." She didn't the first time I righted it but it went back over and the second time I righted it, as her little lunch cooler starter to float away, she did and went to save the lunch pail!!. As a competitive swimmer she did love her food! Anyway, of course with the boat up, in a second she was well away from me in it (don't think I will ever forget the "oh st*t" puppy dog look in her eyes!) when along come Hugh in Allegro. We both laughed afterwards about her asking permission to board as he rescued her and her polite no thank you to his offer of a warm drink and some cookies.

 

My other daughter met him at a Nationals where she was the only junior skippering. And she filed the only protest that I know of on our circle. She was absolutely in the right (simple ww/lw before the start) but had never filed before and was scared to death. Don't recall Hugh's exact role other than he was receiving the protest. Maybe I am mistaken but he seemed to give her a friendly wink and I remember watching the weight of the world lift from her shoulders.

 

I mentioned his passing to them as I typed this and they both were sad to hear it.

 

Fair winds Hugh. You touched and will be missed by many.

 

Wess

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Never met the man but admire him all the same from your stories...thanks for sharing!

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I am gathering my thoughts.

 

I met Hugh shortly after becoming disabled at the same time I met John Ross Duggan.

 

Gene Hinkel has a post on this FB Timeline. Gene like Hugh has been involved with Disabled Sailing since it's inception into the Paralympics.

 

more later

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Another DTS thread without the DTS .... scuttlebutt forum much?

DTS is sorta reserved for celebrities. Although he was rather well known in a few circles, a celebrity he was not.

And him being my friend, it somehow didn't seem appropriate to hang that on him since I had high hopes of sharing this thread with a couple members of his family.

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Another DTS thread without the DTS .... scuttlebutt forum much?

DTS is sorta reserved for celebrities. Although he was rather well known in a few circles, a celebrity he was not.

And him being my friend, it somehow didn't seem appropriate to hang that on him since I had high hopes of sharing this thread with a couple members of his family.

Fair enough, as someone working in the funeral industry and have lost both parents plus a newly born daughter over the last decade or so i pass on my condolences.

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I knew Hugh from very casual racing Sonars with against him at the Downtown Sailing Center. He was always a proper gent with a great sense of dry Brit wit. Hugh was a great guy and a true proper gentleman. I last saw him at Screwpile this year and we were laughing and discussing literature. He was a true erudite sailing gentleman who will be missed by many.

 

A story about Hugh in the spirit of SA

Years ago I sailed against Hugh in Sonars at the Downtown sailing center. ( there were and are also J22s but we were both on Sonar race crews) Hugh had just become a US sailing judge and was also the head of race rules committee at our club. I was on a team full of jokers a few weeks prior our fordeck gal had accidentally worn a pair of shorts that when she bent over you saw her red panties. Jokes ensued about protest flags. The next week the fordeck gal brought a joke new pair of red satin thong for the boat it got put in the spin bag and forgotten for a few weeks. Fast forward a few weeks and a J22 fouls us badly and in the boat we realize we have forgotten the real protest flag so we hail protest and fly the panties. The J22 refuses to do a turn. We thus end up in front of protest mini hearing back at the docks headed up by Hugh. Hugh asks did we hail protest, we absolutely did. Hugh asks did we fly a flag , we say well yes. He asks to see the flag our skipper hands him the balled up panties. Hugh's face as he opened up the red balled up satin panties was one of shock and mirth. In his most proper british voice he says loudly "This is not a proper flag these are undergarments, protest dismissed" My entire crew ends up laughing. As we all adjurn to the bar and I see him later that evening he asks me quietly to the side which of the two of us women on the crew had been wearing them and please tell him it had not been the male skipper.

On a smidge more seriously kind note

A friend of mine from out of state lost his leg in Afganastan and had been at Walter reed figuring out the new prosthetic leg and using canes. Because I knew it was possible due to Hugh I took my friend out sailing on a Sonar for a casual fun sail at the DSC just a little Fr McHenry spin. By the time we get back to the dock my friend had fun but is frustrated and tired from how taxing it was. Hugh along with a handful of others were sitting at the picnic tables hanging out near the dock. I need to derig the boat so I tell my friend to go ahead and hang out by the picnic tables while I finish up. Hugh and one of the other guys sitting there invite my friend over and he sits down at the picnic table and starts going on about how much he liked sailing with me but how it is probably too hard to do due to the leg. Hugh well has remained sitting this whole time so my friend did not know that Hugh also lacked a leg. Hugh starts talking about all the sailing he has done and is involved in. Only after talking about normal sailing stuff for a while to my friend who is impressed at the very end he shows him that he has a prostetic leg under the pants and told him " A leg does not define you. You are your mind and your will not your leg" I am so grateful that he basically inspired a good friend of mine not to give up.

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Bump - If you hear anything about memorial services could you please pass the word. Don't think family is local. Sister in UK if I recall. Thanks, Wess

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Wess, will do. yeah, his sister is in the UK. I've traded a couple emails with her this morning.

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Very sad to hear. Hugh would probably scoff at being an inspiration, but he was. Despite his obstacles he was always prepared to help and never seemed to need any. An excellent judge, knowledgeable and sensible. Many will miss him, probably more than he knows.

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Bump. I'm sorry you lost your friend, and I'm sorry sailing lost such a well respected person...we need all the ones we have. Best, Win ever.

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Never met the man but admire him all the same from your stories...thanks for sharing!

 

+1

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Anyone got a pic? Didn't know Hugh but clearly deserves some front paging, and our condolences.

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met him once, knew of him and local sailing area and he will be missed. Fair winds Hugh.

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met him once, knew of him in the local sailing area and he will be missed. Fair winds Hugh.

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Clean, there's a link in my 2nd post in this thread

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This is his most recent Linked In pic ..

1c3c12d.jpg

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Just to hear of people like him is an inspiration and a great joy. My condolences to his friends and family, as long as you remember him he's still got something going.

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I was lucky enough to sail in international and national regattas with Hugh as a judge, I have also been lucky enough to work with him on Allegro, setting and pulling marks. Every moment spent with Hugh was a learning experience along with being a very enjoyable time. I remember him coming up to me at the clubhouse in a regatta very far from home, and after a short conversation, felt so much less nervous, it was really nice to see him when I was alone in a foreign country. Any regatta I was responsible for organizing as a fleet captain, Hugh was my first call if a judge or a protest jury was needed. It is amazing what Hugh gave back to the sport he loved so much. Condolences to all Hugh's many friends and his family.

 

Oh yeah, and angora wool is the only telltale that will fly in less than 2 knots of wind on a handheld antenna. Thanks for that information Hugh, but I never enjoyed racing in less than 2 knots breeze. ;-)

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i met Hugh through the DSC in Baltimore, several years ago we took the clubs J/30 down to Annap race week. Hugh gladly volunteered to be our tactician. He only asked we tie a sail tie across the coach roof, (try) not to crash tack, and he would do the rest. More often that not, Hugh beat the crew to the high side. After one particularly awful tack, he asked the crew to "kindly get their asses and two good legs to the high side"

 

a solid character. he'll be missed.

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Hugh was definitely one of the good ones. He was just about done with sailing himself when I first met him, doing a bit of coaching for a disabled Sonar team as I recall.

 

And of course I knew him well as a judge at Paralympic sailing events all over the world. Smart as a whip and a wicked sense of humor. I always enjoyed his insightful blog posts on all range of topics. He gave back to the sport so generously and with little or no ego.

 

Fair winds Hugh.

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