Obituary Roger Horner

With the passing of e3’s co-founder on the 8th of February 2024, The Islander and Palma yachting community were left with a big loss. From all over the world reactions and condolences were received by his closest family, colleagues and friends. Some 200 people came to honour Roger in Palma a week after his passing. 

Hamish Goddard, European Sales Account Manager at e3 and close friend of Roger, spoke the following words at Roger’s service: 

“When one talks about the joy and emotions of love and friendship being mirrored in the grief and despair of loss, the saying most typically remembered is that of Alfred Lord Tennyson – It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

We’re all here today because we have loved – and lost – Roger, someone we loved very dearly and a friend to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. And Tennyson was right – none of us would swap the time we spent with Roger, how he enhanced the lives of all of us with his humour, his warmth and generosity, his sense of fun and friendship – with the sadness that we feel gathered here today.

Roger was a dynamic entrepreneur from the very beginning, becoming one of the most respected, admired – and liked – figures within our industry sector. A big man with an even bigger charisma, always hungry for the success of the company he founded with Alan Walker and Jason Abbott in 1996. He was constantly excited about the rapid evolution of communications, writing on that subject in no less than 318 editions of The Islander magazine – their longest and most consistent contributor by a country mile – his last article submitted only days before he passed.
As well as educating the reader and explaining to them how the market was developing into the future, he was always aware of how these developments might become applicable to our business.

On a light-hearted note, I remember watching him speaking at an event last year – and he came up to me afterwards,
“What did you think of my speech, Hame?” which was an unusual question from him – as he was always very good on his feet.. 

“Well, I thought it was pretty good Roge!” I said.

“I didn’t write it! It was Chat GPT!” he said with that familiar and mischievous giggle we knew so well – fascinated, as he also was, by the potential of AI.

He was also immensely supportive and engaged with various charities over the years – usually ones that had a nautical theme – Save The Med with Brad Robertson and more latterly Yachting Gives Back with Nick Entwisle and his wonderful team. He loved the e3 charity cycle rides that we have developed over the years, and which have now raised € 16.000 for local charitable causes – unrelated to our industry but benefitting homeless shelters, food banks, an Aids Hospice and educational support initiatives in Palma and the rest of the island – the ethos within the title Yachting Gives Back is in Roger’s memory.

Our next cycling installment in April is now being explored as a tribute ride to Roger, something requested by many of the Captains and engineers that have previously taken part – and another affirmation of the affection in which he was held.

And who can forget Roger teaming up with Richard Gardiner of Global Yacht Services for the Pinmar Golf tournaments , dressed in outrageous costumes over a number of years, all with a ‘sister’ theme – the Naughty Nuns, the Naughty Nurses – and in their final year as Drizilla and Anastasia – The Ugly Sisters – offering ‘Free Beer for ‘Loadsa Money’, and selling kisses with Amanda Butler, dressed as ‘SIn’-derella, who apparently became quite ill as a result..  In their final year, they raised € 17.000 in a single day.

As Diane said in her beautifully crafted announcement of Roger’s passing, we are a very close-knit family at e3 – and I can think of few companies where the news we had last Thursday morning would have been met with the same shattered reaction that we saw in the office, in the tears shed and the hugs shared between us.

We had our annual company get-together a couple of weeks ago – and I was chatting with Roger outside during a coffee break, about the overwhelmingly positive feeling there was amongst the team. We had discussed his retirement a number of times previously and he was saying how he felt that it was coming ever closer – that everything was in good hands.

This was of course followed by a rallying call in an email – his last to the company as a whole – that we as a team can do this! In our collective strength and obligation to continue his extraordinary legacy, that is what we will do. 

What brings so many of us in this room together is our love of the sea and the love of sailing. 

Roger was an accomplished sailor, from early liveaboards to even taking his 6-month-old daughter Lucy across the Atlantic on that year’s ARC. 

In sailing, we avoid the rocks. But otherwise, we need them. And in so many ways – and to so many of us – Roger was that rock. He will be immeasurably missed.” 


Also read

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

and receive your invitation to our events