Industry mourns Massachusetts sailracer

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Dr. Hugh Chandler, 83, a sailor and an orthopedic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, died Oct. 9 in Boston.

Known among friends as the Hughser, Hughsie, or the Boss, he and his wife, Betsy McCombs, owned and sailed a string of boats named Scherherazade with skill and success, according to Scuttlebutt.

Chandler survived a stroke in 1998, but suffered from right-side neglect and aphasia. Betsy, wife and navigator, kept the boat and crew together and he was driving again eight months later.

He continued to drive for the next 13 years and won a lot of races. Sail magazine profiled Chandler in a report titled The Key to Keeping your Crew Together.

In the piece, the reporter asked what the secret was to having a crew as dedicated as the one Chandler had assembled.Betsy said that prior to Chandler’s stroke, his motto had been: “You can yell at me, but you can’t yell at anyone else. Having a non-yelling boat is crucial.”

One crewmember said the couple care about their crew “in a very individual way.”

Donations to the Courageous Sailing Center can be made in his name.

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