Roy Disney

Roy Disney

Roy E. Disney has passed away.  For those of us in the sport of sailing, we got to see a true cultural icon up close and very personal, in a way that the rest of the world never really had a chance to see.  The generalities of Roy’s life are very well chronicled in the LA Times .  In this recounting of Roy’s life, mention is made of his passion of sailing.

What we got to see through his participation in sailing was the full impact of his personality, a desire to see everyone be and achieve all they could, to help make good things even better, and to do so with dignity and integrity.  Roy was fully immersed in the sport, and cared about the full spectrum of the game, from junior sailing all the up to and through the biggest ocean races on the planet.

Perhaps the most important thing that Roy contributed to the sport of sailing was his enthusiasm for the general promotion of the better qualities of the sport, the qualities that help us as humans more fully connect to the world though the natural beauty we experience as sailors, and to each other through the camaraderie that comes as competitors and crew members.

While we are all a little sadder today for not having Roy with us any longer, anyone who knew him has a richer life for having been around him.  In his absence, we now have to apply what we learned from him.  The world, and the sport, are better places because of what Roy taught us. Add your thoughts and comments about Roy in the Forum. Additionally, there is is this:

The California International Sailing Association, CISA, is saddened by the loss of Roy Disney, a longtime supporter and contributor to youth sailing and CISA.  Roy’s love for sailing and his donations to CISA have benefited thousands of aspiring youth sailors, from high school and community sailing programs, to pre-Olympic contenders as well as Orange Bowl sailors traveling to Miami each December. The family has suggested donations in his memory to benefit youth sailing; and can be made through CISA.  These can be sent to:

2812 Canon Street
San Diego, CA 92106
memo: Roy Disney memorial

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We just received this from Genny Tulloch:

Today we have lost a hero, a legend, an icon, mentor, and a friend in the sailing world.  With Roy Disney’s passing comes a lot of grief for me personally, but above the grief comes the honor that I feel for having been able to be a part of his life. 

In Pyewacket, Roy had a team that became a family.  They stuck together through the years because of their shared love and admiration for one another, as well as their commitment to top-level sailboat racing. 

With the Morning Light team, Roy extended that family to the next generation.  We ‘kids’ will always think of him as the ‘grandfather’ of our team, and will forever remember the lessons we learned from him. He not only touched those of us on the Morning Light team, but he also shaped our futures and our lives.  We have been influenced and inspired by someone of the highest moral character. We go forward being the best that we can with the most integrity, humility, and humor because that’s what we have seen to be values above all other. 

Roy’s influence and inspiration were far-reaching. With the movie Morning Light, Roy was able to touch the whole audience of viewers.  From the sailing community to the rest of the world touched by any Disney creation, we all have a lot to thank for the part Roy played in this world.

After taking a while to deal physically with Roy’s passing, letting the tissue pyramid gradually stop growing, I went out on my deck to throw flowers in the bay in Roy’s honor.  The tide had just switched to outgoing.  As Roy said when the Morning Light team finished exactly at sunrise, calling it ‘Walt Weather’, I think today was ‘Roy Weather’.

Roy may be physically gone, but he will be remembered forever.