Eight Bells: Hugh Elliot

Published on February 4th, 2014

American Hugh Elliot passed away suddenly on February 2, 2014. He was in Tampa, Florida, having just served as a judge at a regatta at Davis Island Yacht Club.

Hugh was an outstanding sailor; in the mid-1980s, he was a top-notch Laser sailor – from 1982 to 1988, he qualified for gold fleet at least once each year at the U.S., Canadian, or North American Championships. He enjoyed crewing, most often as tactician or spinnaker trimmer, on other boats including Flying Dutchmen, J/24s, Lightnings, and J/30s.

After a serious car accident in 1993 led to the loss of his left leg (above the knee) and later his right leg (below the knee), he helped to establish the U.S. Disabled Sailing Program. From 1997 to 2000 he campaigned as crew on a Sonar; his team finished second at the U.S. Trials for the Paralympic Games in Sydney. He continued campaigning in Sonars as skipper until 2005.

In 2008, US Sailing presented Hugh with the Gay S. Lynn Memorial Trophy for his outstanding contribution to sailors with disabilities and the sport of disabled sailing over a sustained period of time.

In recent years, he made innumerable and immeasurable contributions to the sport of sailing through his work in race management, expertise on the Racing Rules of Sailing, and efforts as a US Sailing Senior Judge and ISAF International Judge.

Hugh, a member of Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD since 1985, will be hugely missed by so many at SSA in our worldwide sailing community. SSA will share information on services as it becomes available.

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