Disney, others honored by US Sailing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Awards were handed out by the United States Sailing Association at its annual meeting in St. Petersburg, including the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, US Sailing's highest honor, which was given to longtime sailing advocate Roy E. Disney, the association reported in a recent statement.

Disney was not present to receive his award, however, because of the premiere of his film "Morning Light," which focuses on sailing.

Disney has been involved with sailing for years, and he has set records in offshore races including the Transpac Race, the Chicago Mackinac Race and the Newport-Bermuda Race. Disney has also shown his passion for the sport with financial support. According to US Sailing, when it created the medalist donor program to support the athletes of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, Disney was the first donor to pledge at the highest level. He also contributes to the California International Sailing Association and several other sailing organizations.

Ruth Creighton of Wilmington, N.C., was honored with the Timothea Larr Award for her lifelong commitment to quality sailing education. Creighton has been a multi-talented and hard-working member of US Sailing's training committee for about two decades, the group said.

Hugh Elliot of Alexandria, Va., was presented with the Gay S. Lynn Memorial Trophy for his contribution to sailors with disabilities and the sport of disabled sailing. Elliot became involved in disabled sailing following a car accident, and it was Gay Lynn, the trophy's namesake, who encouraged Elliot to try disabled sailing. He went on to compete in the 2000 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials and was runner-up. After that, Elliot made it his personal mission to mentor sailors with disabilities, promote disabled sailing and encourage others to do the same.

The St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy, which recognizes excellence in race management, went to the Southwestern Yacht Club of San Diego, Calif. The club was selected from a list of nine nominated sailing organizations for its execution of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Sailing in the 49er, held in October 2007. The regatta was held over a 14-day time period in difficult weather conditions.

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