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Roy Partridge: a champion sailor who travelled the world


"Roy, a type one diabetic since the age of 14, decided to make a Mirror dinghy from kit form.

Having built the boat, he then had to learn to sail it as he had no previous experience of sailing. 

On one of his first outings he managed to snag the main sail sheet and capsized the boat. 

He persevered with the sailing, built many more boats, learnt how to fine tune the sails and rigging, and years later became Area, National, European and World Champion. 

He was invited by the Mirror Class Associations from around the world to share his sailing knowledge, which he did with enthusiasm and pleasure.  He went to such places as Barbados, Canada and South Africa. He wrote a book called Sailing the Mirror which was considered the “class bible” for many years and is still selling today around the world.


His diabetic routine was an injection of long-acting Actrapid and short-acting soluble insulin a.m.  He was meticulous with his diet.

In the boat he would take Mars Bars in case his blood sugar should drop too low.

He never managed to eat them because he was too involved in the racing.  He did have Dextro tablets that he would eat even when they were wet and soggy.  He always ate a large sandwich before going out on the water. 

Menna, his wife would often be seen at the waters edge with food for Roy when the boats came in after a race.

Among his joint achievements was 59 years of marriage. We know, but for the love care and devotion that our mother gave him, he would not have lived as long as he did.  He died aged 82."

Zena Healy (nee Partridge)Zena Healy (nee Partridge)

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