Deceased , Modern




According to Disney’s nominator, and 2018 National Sailing Hall of Fame inductee Vince Brun, “Roy Edward Disney wasn’t just a great sailor but an outstanding contributor to the sport of sailing”.

Paraphrased from Roy Disney’s nomination:

Roy wanted to give something back to the sport and decided to do it through CISA (California International Sailing Association). He wanted to direct the funds to junior sailing and specifically to high school kids as well as to bring diverse neighborhoods together through Community Sailing Centers.

He was also the person that created the Morning Light Project, which developed a training program for kids between 18 to 23 years old. 750 young adults applied for the program and 15 made the final team. This team sailed the 2007 Transpac (Los Angeles to Hawaii) on a supplied TP-52. Lots of great “kids” started their sailing career as a result of the Morning Light effort:  Charlie Enright, Mark Towill, Genny Tulloch, Robbie Kane, Jesse Fielding, and Chris Branning, to name a few.

Charlie Enright who is now a Volvo Around the World skipper, was one of those kids, and he said the following regarding Roy Disney and the Morning Light program:

“No one is more deserving to be on the Sailing Hall of Fame than Roy Disney, for the sailing teams he built over the years and the opportunities he’s afforded to generations of American sailors. When I went to out to Long Beach for the trials, all I knew was how to do a start, position a boat among others, and roll tack. The Morning Light project exposed me to a different world of sailing, technically and professionally. There is no way I’d be where I am today without the help of Roy Disney.”

A Partial List of Roy Disney and Pyewacket team Honors and Accomplishments:

  • 1992, San Diego to Manzanillo, Mexico, Race record
  • 1993, Santa Barbara to King Harbor, Race record
  • 1994, San Diego to Manzanillo, Race record
  • 1996, Victoria to Maui, Race record
  • 1998, San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, Race record
  • 1998, Pacific Cup San Francisco to Hawaii, Race record
  • 1999, Transpac Los Angeles to Hawaii, Race record
  • 2002, Newport to Bermuda, Race record
  • 2002, Chicago to Mackinaw, Race record
  • 2003 , Newport to Ensenada, Race record
  • 2004, Maxi Worlds Sardinia, Italy, Winner


Following is an excerpt from Roy Disney’s Yachting World obituary published December 17, 2009

Roy Disney, 1930-2009

“…He had a long-term relationship with the California International Sailing Association (CISA) foundation – a relationship that has provided boats, funding and opportunities for thousands of young sailors to become acquainted with the sport, improve their skills and to pursue their sailing goals and dreams. ‘Junior sailing in Southern California would not be what it is today without Roy’s support,’ said Tim Hogan, former CISA President. Disney’s passing will not end his involvement with that foundation.

In the mid-1980s, Disney was instrumental in bringing sled racing to the West Coast. He was the founding president of the ULDB 70 Association and loved offshore racing. His favorite race was the Transpac, by a huge margin. In 1999, he set an elapsed time record for that race in Pyewacket III, breaking the record set two years earlier by his son, Roy P. Disney – filling in for dad who had broken his leg shortly before that race started.

A longtime member of the Transpac Board of Directors, he has heavily supported the organization and the race in an abundance of ways. Roy, along with his wife Leslie, produced Morning Light – an inspiring true-life feature film that gave 15 young sailors a chance to sail their own TP52 in the Transpac Race.”



  • Filter Nominees

  • Reset

Preserving America’s Sailing Legacy

Engaging Sailing’s Next Generation

Stay Connected to the National Sailing Hall of Fame