Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Roy Woolsey has passed away

It is with great sorrow that I must tell you that Roy Woolsey has passed away. He was stricken with a stroke last Friday, and passed away early this morning at Hoag Hospital. Roy was a great friend and inspiration in my life. I will miss him greatly. We all knew him as a fine and skillful competitor when sailing the Lido 14, and as the ultimate example of the Corinthian competitor. His sailing career spanned the full fifty years of the Lido 14, from the very first Championship in 1958, until the Golden Anniversary which was held last week.

Services will be held at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, September 4 th at 4 pm. The address is: 600 St. Andrews Rd, Newport Beach, Ca 92663.

The Roy Woolsey Memorial regatta will be sailed as planned at Lido Isle Yacht Club on Sunday, September 23. You will receive more information and the NOR in the next few days. We may do something in memory of Roy at that time.

Bob Yates

Quotes from Roy Woolsey

“ I am glad to be here”

“ Hi! Roy Woolsey”

“ I am going to go home and kiss my lovely wife”

“ Gybe Ho!”

Everyone in the fleet will always want to be “ As lucky as a Woolsey”


I have known Roy (and sailed with him often as did my "mother" in twilight's) since learning to sail over forty years ago at the Lido Island Yacht Club. Roy, Marty Lockney, Chad Twichell, Ted Hinshaw and others formed the backbone of early L-14 sailing and occupy most of my early memories of the sport. They all taught me the importance of "FAIR" competition and stayed after me to learn this valuable lesson (despite my best efforts to reject it) well into my twenty's. Something few probably knew about Roy was that his "Corinthian" spirit was all the more impressive give that he was one of the leading attorneys in California for many decades (I'll bet nobody can ever remember Roy protesting anyone). Given the "debacle" that the recent L-14 nationals seemed to have become, it is something to reflect on for for all L-14 sailors who attend Roy's funeral. I will see you there on Thursday.

PS: I hope someday more of us learn from people like Roy. I also hope we all teach his lessons to our children for they often act as they have observed their parents acting. I "will" sail the regatta (to the best of my ability) in September so please keep me on the e-mail list. Thanks

Jack E. Franco

COOL Jack Very COOL. Thanks for the words. This type of sentiment is what brings strength to the sport.

Len Bose

My Roy Story
-Last winter Roy (then 89)and his 65 years young crew came out to
One of our Lido Classics races in Newport directly out from LIYC.
It was blowing about 16 knots. We had about 10 boats out.
Later in the afternoon as the winds built, Roy took a gust and
Capsized into a full turtle. By the time we got to him, Roy had fully climbed
On top of the boat and was leaning hard onto the centerboard to try and right
the boat. It was low tide and the mast was stuck in the mud. At one point Roy was Fully
Standing on the centerboard (89??) He yelled... here she comes, get the hell out of the way!
To his crew in the water. The boat righted and we were all showered with mud from the top
of the mast. Well they were both tired and dressed for winter and could not make it back into
the boat. I remember snapping a couple of Roy's belt loops as we grabbed him by the pants and dragged
Him onto the committee boat. He and his crew were a bunch of wet rats..we motored him and his Lido
To the LIYC docks and called a break before running another race. Roy got off on the dock..Grabed his crew
By the arm and pushed him back into the half swamped Lido and said

Another Roy quote: : What the hell is G mark ? This Gate stuff is a bunch of crap !!

Scott Porter
Lido Classics


I am so sorry to hear of Roy's passing. I was afraid of this when I saw an elderly gentleman in Topsider oxfords in the HOAG emergency room on Friday ( I was there for my brother who coincidentally also had a stroke) and then saw Roy Jr.

It was a real pleasure to have had a chance to finally meet and race with Roy last week. He is true legend.

See you tonight,

Kim McRae

Len, so sorry to hear about Roy. I am sure he will be missed by many, many people.
Executive Assistant to Donald J. Crevier

Thank you for letting me know. What a great loss. Thank you as well for the great pictures of him.
Joan Burton

While this news saddens us deeply, we were very lucky to have known him and to be able to call him a friend. He was a mentor for both me and my son and we were lucky enough to sit down for lunch with Roy and his son last Tuesday, and he seemed so alive.

Our quintessential Roy moment came last year at his regatta. It was one of those blustery (Santa Ana wind) days and we were racing against Roy in the B-fleet and he worked us in the first race! In the next race, Roy was one of three boats to capsize. He righted his boat, made it back to the club and walked home to change his cloths. A short while latter he returned and went racing again. With the wind blowing even stronger and boats breaking down and capsizing, Roy was determined to give it his all. Unfortunately, he capsized again. However, in true Roy form, he righted his boat, made it back to the dock, walked home, changed his cloths again and returned to give out trophies in the regatta which bears his name.

Roy is a true legend and we will miss him.

Chris & Christophe Killian

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I came to this site via the scuttlebutt comments. If you knew Roy, you were lucky. I wish I would have had the chance. It sounds like he was one of the great influences in many a sailors lives.