US SAILING Mourns the Passing of Roy Disney
Roy Edward Disney passed away
Wednesday after a long battle with
stomach cancer. In 2008, US SAILING,
national governing body of the sport,
awarded Disney its prestigious
Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for his
outstanding contributions to the sport
of sailing in the U.S. over many years.
Disney was 79.
Gary Jobson, president of US SAILING,
had this to say about what Disney
meant to the sport: “Roy Disney was
great for the sport of sailing. He set a
high example for all of us, as a top
competitor, visionary and philanthropist.
inspired so many
young people to
dream of life on
the water. Our
sport will miss
Roy E. Disney's
the sport goes
back decades. As
a long-time, reliable
the sport, his impact has been has been
felt across the board: from youth sailing
to the Olympic level of the sport
and beyond. When US SAILING created
the medalist donor program to support
the athletes of the US Sailing
Team AlphaGraphics, Disney was the
first donor to jump on board at the
highest level. He is also a top contributor
to the California International
Sailing Association and several other
Not only does Disney support various
levels of the sport, he is also an accomplished
sailor with many titles to his
name. He has set records in many of
offshore races, including the Transpac
Race (which he has sailed 16 times and
won once), the Chicago Mackinac
Race, and the Newport-Bermuda Race.
In 1999, Disney fulfilled a lifelong
dream when he and the 12-member
crew of his 74-foot Pyewacket sloop --
named for the witch's cat in the 1958
film "Bell, Book & Candle" -- won the
biannual, 2,225-mile Transpacific
Yacht Race from Los Angeles to
Honolulu, setting a course record.
Combining his passion for sailing and
for filmmaking, Disney was a powerful
voice for sailing, as well as a promoter.
His documentary movie "Morning
Light," which he co-produced with his
wife Leslie DeMeuse-Disney, put a
new spotlight on the sport of sailing.
“Sailing with Roy was like being
adopted by a family,” explained Stan
Honey, board member of US SAILING.
“He got so much out of his crew,
because his loyalty was astounding.
His crew was never worried about losing
their job. Instead, they just focused