Mar 3, 2013, 11:11 AM
Post #3 of 7
From Jim Leatherman:
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS - John Ross-Duggan
[In reply to]
Log-In to Post/Reply
Regarding the passing of John Ross-Duggan, it is with a heavy heart that I reply to this sad and unexpected news of the loss of a friend, a great teammate, fierce competitor, roll model, and world class sailor (how many Paralympic Medals did he have in sailing?). Over the course of one’s life, individuals come and go but there are those few that make a lasting impact on you. JR was one of them for me.
I remember when we first met. I was struck by the fact that I was going to let this guy take me out into the middle of the Ocean just after the Perfect Storm, on a little sail boat, while being duct taped into some twisted metal parts that sort of resembled a chair. As we exited Marblehead Harbor and the sail boat in front of us completely disappeared in the trough of the swell, I knew I had lost my mind to have been talked into being onboard. After all, we had a QUAD driving the boat. As I hung on for dear life, I remember JR barking out orders as if we were simply on a day cruise at the Islands. When we got back to the dock that day, right after I got off the boat and kissed it, I know this guy was something special, and I now “wanted” to sail with this Quad at the Helm.
Over the course of our Paralympic Campaign I grew to greatly respect his “abilities” and accomplishments, and would have sailed with him anywhere at any time. JR did not let his disability stand in the way of his living life to the fullest and I admired and respected that greatly. He was a fierce competitor on the water, and was great fun to be around at the end of a long day of sailing, and I will miss that.
That old salt would tell you that he went with his boots on, doing what he loved, and the way he loved to do it. Ja . . . . Ja . . . . . Ja . . . . Johnny, I will not sit here and wish you smooth sailing, and soft breezes, as I know you would prefer a challenge. Break your new crew in easy will ya, and remember that it will take them a bit of time to master trimming the sails, hosing you down, getting the cup, and calling wind and competition all at the same time. God’s speed my friend.