Giving Something Back

September 13 - Burbank
In a time when many of the more affluent big boat owners are putting up massive amounts of money to fund armadas for the next America's Cup, Roy Disney - long known for being one of the few big boat owners who is just a 'regular guy' - is donating $500,000 over the next five years to the California International Sailing Association. CISA, as it's more commonly known, is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and assisting young sailors.

Disney, who chuckled in disbelief when asked if he'd given any thought to doing an America's Cup campaign, said the motivation for his donation was "to give something back to the sport we've been privileged to be a part of. Many of our family's happiest moments are of our experiences on the water, from learning to sail ourselves, to watching the kids in Sabots in the summer sailing school, to weekends at Catalina, to a number of ocean passages. Sailing is a sport that has a lot to teach everyone, and a sport that gives back tremendously to those who participate in it."

Disney became enchanted with sailing in late '57, when he and his wife were spending a little time in Corona del Mar after the birth of their first child. Looking out over the entrance to Newport Harbor at sunset, the young family watched a sailboat carrying a chute into the harbor on a westerly. "It looked so damn romantic," he says, "I knew it was something we wanted to get involved in." The family started with an Alden 30 and subsequently moved to larger boats. Later, with the kids grown, Roy gravitated toward racing boats. After some frustrating early years with the maxi sled class, Disney started a great string of successes with a new elapsed time record in the '96 Victoria to Maui Race with 'Pyewacket', a Santa Cruz 70. 'Pyewacket' broke 'Merlin's long-standing TransPac record the following year, averaging a dazzling 12.13 knots. The only downside to the victory is that Roy wasn't able to sail with son Roy Pat and the rest of the crew because he'd broken both of his legs in a car accident. The streak continued in '98, when 'Pyewacket' finished the San Francisco to Kaneohe Bay, Kauai, Pacific Cup in 6 days and 14 hours. To top it off, Roy set a new TransPac elapsed time record of 7 days, 11 hours, with the new 'Pyewacket', a R/P 75.

The $100,000 a year to CISA will help support the organization's youth-oriented sailing programs, primarily in Southern California and Hawaii, and to a lesser extent the rest of the country. Specifically, the money donated by Disney will help fund the annual CISA-sponsored advanced spring racing clinics, which are the top junior clinics in the country and are attended by 100 junior sailors from all over the country. After all, how often do junior sailors get the opportunity to learn from the likes of Paul Cayard and other sailing heroes?

From left: Tim Hogan, President of CISA;
Roy Disney, who has donated $500,000 over the next five years; and Robbie Haines, Vice President of CISA, Olympic gold medalist - and the one who suggested CISA as a vehicle for Disney to help young sailors.
Photo Latitude/Richard

'Pyewacket' Sails the TransPac
Photo LACSTV/Leslie DeMeuse
by way of the TransPacific Yacht Club

In addition, the money will help support the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association through travel grants and the purchase of equipment, and provide for community sailing programs in Southern California and Hawaii. It will also help support a pre-Olympic development sailing fund for Olympic-bound sailors. In honor of Disney's donation, the PCISA has created the Roy E. Disney trophy to be given to the top team in all the PCISA regattas.

If life's been good to you and you don't have any interest in mounting an America's Cup campaign or building a 300-foot yacht, you might also think of supporting young sailors. You can do it through the CISA (714) 434-4400, your yacht club, or any other number of community sailing programs.

Myron Spaulding

September 13 - Sausalito

Northern California sailing lost one of its sailing legends on Monday, with the passing of Myron Spaulding at age 94. In his heyday, the self-educated Spaulding was a great boat designer, boat builder, and racing skipper. Although Spaulding slowed considerably in the last 30 years, he still used to go to his museum-like boatyard next to Caruso's in Sausalito almost every day.

We'll have much more on Spaulding in the October Latitude, and if you'd like to share any of your stories about him, we'd love to hear them.

Lifejackets and Kids

September 13 - Sacramento

Starting January 1, water-skiers, personal watercraft users and boat passengers under the age of 11 will be required to wear life jackets. Gov. Gray Davis just signed it into law.

Weather Updates

September 13 - Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

Tropical Weather

It's been years since a tropical storm has approached California, but that's what is happening right now. Former Hurricane Lane, which once boasted up to 85-knot winds while paralleling the coast of Baja way offshore, is now approaching California. While the cold waters have greatly defused Lane, he still has up to 40-knot gusts as he brings thick cloud cover, humid conditions, and strong winds as far north as the Central California coast. Usually when you round Conception, you have to look out for strong northwesterlies. Today, you have to lookout for what's left of Lane.

Over in the Atlantic, Hurricane Florence, which popped up suddenly just off the coast of the southeast United States, made a dramatic 90-degree turn and is now headed in the direction of . . . Portugal. They're haven't been many hurricanes in the Atlantic this season, but they've had some weird ones.

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay right now, check out

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.

Pacific Ocean Weather

Click here to see today's weather map from the University of Hawaii Meteorology Department.

Pacific Sea State

Check out today's sea state, which is unusual thanks to hurricane Lane. Check it out at:
For another view, see


A Most Celebrated Ruin

September 13 - Micronesia

Jim Foley and Linda Moore took this photograph when they were out cruising 'Dana', their Santa Cruz 36. Yes, a Santa Cruz 36. If you can't guess where the photo was taken, you're not alone. It's Nan Madol, the most celebrated ruin in Micronesia. It's a group of impressive stone compounds and basalt building on the east side of Pohnpei. It dates way back to 1285.

Photo Courtesy 'Dana'


September 13 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at

Classy Classifieds Rate Increase

September 13 - Mill Valley

It's been at least five years since the last time we raised prices on the Classy Classifieds, (long before we started putting them online) and we hate to do it to you, but here goes. As of the November 2000 issue, rates will be as follows: Personal Ads of up to 40 words will be $35; 41-80 will be $60; and 81-120 will be $85 (120 words is the maximum). Photos will still be just $15. The price for Business Ads will be $65 (no photos; 40 words max). The deadline has been the 18th of the month at 5:00 pm for as long as anyone here can remember, and it will remain the same, regardless of weekends or holidays. You can mail us your ad with a check to: 15 Locust Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941, or place it online here with a credit card. Ads appear online only after (about a week after) the print magazine comes out.

Top / Index of Stories / Subscriptions / Classifieds / Home

©2000 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.