Hometown: Southport, CT
Education: Yale University, BA, Organizational Behavior; Piedmont College, Honorary Doctorate in Education
Dave grew up sailing Blue Jays and Lightnings on Long Island Sound at the Pequot Yacht Club in Southport, CT, where Dave still lives. A member of the first Laser generation (his first Laser was #931 brand new out of the box), Dave went on to finish 5th in the 1979 Laser Worlds. A 2-time All-American at Yale, Dave captained the 1975 Intercollegiate Dinghy National Championship Team. Dave has sailed numerous one-design classes and finished 3rd in the 1982 Soling World Championship and 2nd in the 1984 U.S. Soling Olympic Trials. He is a 5-time U.S. Match Racing Champion, his latest win being in 2015, and a 2-time Congressional Cup winner.
Since 1977, Dave has conducted racing clinics and rules talks around the country and the world, for both adults and youth sailors. He coached the U.S. Youth Sailing Team to a Gold and a Bronze medal in 1981, and the U.S. Youth Match Racing Team to a Bronze medal in 2014. Dave was the lead coach for the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Team preparing for the 2012 Olympics, and is the author of Winning in One-Designs.
Dave has been very involved in teaching and interpreting the racing rules. A National Judge, Dave is a member of the Appeals Committee and the author of two books on the rules, Understanding the Racing Rules and Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes. He has been the Rules Advisor to five America’s Cup teams, including Artemis Racing in the 2017 America’s Cup, and to the US Sailing Team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
In 1992 he was voted into the Sailing World Hall of Fame. In 1995 he became the first recipient of US Sailing’s Captain Joe Prosser Award for exceptional contribution to sailing education. And in 2001 he received the W. Van Alan Clarke, Jr. Trophy, US Sailing’s national award for sportsmanship.
From 1985-2006, Dave took 21 years off from competitive racing while he was the Director of Athletics at Greens Farms Academy, a K-12 coed independent day school in Westport, Connecticut, and during that time he and his wife Betsy raised two children (now almost 26 and 30!).
I have been involved in the sport all my life, having been born into a family and a town where sailing was the primary sport. The sport has enriched my life in so many ways, from the places I’ve traveled to, to the friends I’ve made, to the competitive challenges I’ve experienced, to the people I’ve been able to work with as a teacher. I’ve been volunteering for US Sailing since 1977, and have served on many committees, councils and the Board over those years. I love my work for US Sailing and the sport, and am honored to be nominated to serve on the current Board of Directors to hopefully help enrich the experience others are having and will have in the sport.