* Photo supplied. Talented sailor: Guy Eldridge, right, and a member of his crew at work on his boat. Mr. Eldridge was nicknamed the ‘Artful Boater’ due to his love of sailing.
* Photo supplied. Talented sailor: Guy Eldridge, right, and a member of his crew at work on his boat. Mr. Eldridge was nicknamed the ‘Artful Boater’ due to his love of sailing.
1
2
A Bermudian dubbed the 'artful boater' was killed instantly in an accident on board his yacht.

Guy Eldridge, 46, slipped as he walked down steps on the craft and broke his neck.

He had just spent the day taking part in the International Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands when the accident happened on Friday.

Yesterday, his devastated wife Sue-Ellyn Eldridge told the Bermuda Sun there was comfort knowing he died doing what he loved.

The 47-year-old has been inundated with messages of support and condolence from across the world.

Mrs. Eldridge said: "I don't think I could have scripted anything more perfect than this. He died on his boat with the crew around him after a day of racing.

"I keep thinking that maybe because the flame burned so bright that it went out so quick.

"I am happy it happened like that - he did not know what had happened to him, he never suffered any pain."

Mrs. Eldridge is still struggling to come to terms with her husband's death.

She said: "When the doctor told me he was dead it was like I had to learn how to breathe again.

"I find myself in this awful, strange world without him. I keep expecting him to walk through the door.

"It's like being in the Twilight Zone. It does not feel real.

"So many people have got in touch with me to tell me what Guy meant to them - it has been incredible to see how many lives he touched.

"Talking about Guy and the effect he had on so many people relieves the screaming inside."

The couple, both born and raised in Bermuda, met at Warwick Academy in the 1980s. They stayed in touch after leaving school when Sue-Ellyn went travelling and Mr. Eldridge pursued a law career.

He became a successful corporate lawyer for Conyers, Dill & Pearman and was drafted out to the British Virgin Islands in 1996 to head up the firm's office. In 1999, Mr. Eldridge invited Sue-Ellyn to visit him and take part in the Rolex Regatta.

She said: "It was a big party and a great holiday. We went out racing all day and partied all night.

"I returned to Canada but Guy called me pretty soon afterwards. He told me, 'You should come back soon and bring your son.' I didn't realise but he had already bought the tickets."

Mrs. Eldridge returned to the British Virgin Islands and has lived there since.

She said: "On the first night he said he thought I should move out for good - and he said he thought we should get married. He was very serious and had already applied for a position at school for my son.

"I was stunned - I though he was going to just wake up one day and realise what he had done."

The couple married in 2005 and spent much of their free time travelling the world or sailing.

Mrs. Eldridge said: "He was one of the kindest people you could ever hope to meet. He was one of the most present-living people I ever knew - even though he worked we lived like we were retired.

"He was always up for anything. Life was a big adventure to him.

"I don't think he understood the huge effect he had on other people.

"Everything was so easy and smooth being with Guy.

"Everything worked for us - it would all just come together. We grew closer as a couple as the years passed and did everything we wanted to do."

Mrs. Eldridge plans to join the crew of her husband's boat to finish off the Rolex Regatta as a tribute to him.

Mr. Eldridge won the two previous regattas.

She said: "Sailing was his passion. If he wasn't in the office he was on the boat. He dedicated himself to getting young people involved in sailing.

"He would have wanted us to complete the race. Guy lived for the start and the finish line of anything."

Grieving colleague and friend pays tribute to 'level-headed' legal ace


Guy Eldridge was a brilliant lawyer and talented sailor who was born and bred in Bermuda.

The son of English parents, Beryl and Dennis Eldridge, he attended Warwick Academy then studied political science at Mount Allison in New Brunswick, Canada.

He then spent four years at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, pursuing his law degree.

Mr. Eldridge returned to Bermuda in 1988 after finishing his studies and did his Articles with Conyers, Dill & Pearman.

He started off in the litigation department but quickly moved on to his preferred area, corporate law.

In 1996 he was sent to the British Virgin Islands to head up CD&P's new office and was one of the first lawyers to work on the island. Mr. Eldridge became a partner with the firm in 2001.

Robert Briant, head of Conyers' office in the British Virgin Islands office, yesterday paid tribute to his long-time friend.

He described Mr. Eldridge as the "go-to man" who always had time for everyone. Mr. Briant added: "He was my anchor and everyone in the firm would go to Guy if they had a problem.

"He was level-headed and always offered sound, sage advice.

"He was a quiet man around the office but made a huge impact on the firm and everyone around him.

"He was a great friend and I will miss his counsel as well as the camaraderie we shared.

"Guy was a hugely successful and professional individual and he is a huge loss to the firm."