John Dane III

2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Bio

July 31, 2008


Walter Cooper/ Us Sailing

Class: Star
Position: Skipper
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics: 2007-2008
Member of: Pass Christian YC/Southern YC/Gulfport YC/New York YC/New Orleans YC
Education: De La Salle High School (New Orleans), Tulane University (graduated 1972, PhD 1975)
Birthdate: July 15, 1950
Birthplace: New Orleans
Hometown: Gulfport, Miss.
Occupation: Yacht builder

Significant sailing achievements: No. 1-ranked U.S. team, ISAF Star Class rankings (2007), Three-time InterCollegiate Sailing Association All-American

Biography: For Star sailor Dane, tenacity counts. When Hurricane Katrina swept over the U.S. Gulf Coast, one of the businesses in the storm’s path was Trinity Yachts, the New Orleans megayacht builder for which Dane serves as president. With company buildings ravaged, manufacturing equipment destroyed, and many employees left homeless, the business appeared to be in ruins. But Dane and his team made Trinity Yachts one of Katrina’s biggest comeback stories: a post-hurricane expansion with a new facility in Gulfport, Miss., a workforce grown stronger due to adversity, and an order book that makes this company, according to ShowBoats magazine, the biggest superyacht builder in the United States.


Dane is just as resolute when it comes to his quest for Olympic gold. For nearly 40 years, he tried for an Olympic berth. In 1968, at age 18, he arrived at the U.S. Trials in a borrowed Dragon class boat and finished a close second. He sailed more Olympic Trials-in the Soling class (1972 Games), the Finn class (1974) and the Star class (1984)-coming close to victory at each event. His campaign for the 2008 Games, racing with son-in-law Austin Sperry as crew, proved to be his charm.

“Austin’s youth, athleticism, and enthusiasm coupled with my experience and never-say-die attitude make us a great team,” says Dane.

In an adrenaline-fueled final race of the Star Trials, they nosed out the second-place boat at the finish line for a win in what journalists would come to call the biggest race of Dane’s life. “It was definitely emotional,” Dane told the Times-Picayune after their victory. “I didn’t cry; I just shouted for joy.”


Recent results:
2008 14th US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR/Miami
2007 8th Star Western Hemisphere Championship/Tampa, Fla., 10th US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR


More Racing