ISTiOSELIDA: Interview with Dave Perry!

We have talked with Dave Perry during his seminars at Athens at the YCG and he gave us a very interesting interview. The guy really enjoys what he is doing and this is obvious when you get to watch his talks.

Dave Perry came to Athens invited by Kostas Karageorgiou & Stratis Andreadis in order to do what he does best, to teach match race to four Greek match race teams.

Even though it was late, even though he had just finished talking to 60-70 people that participated at his seminar and even though for the whole day he and four Greek Teams were doing a match race clinic, he sat down and talked to me with genuine interest.

Thank you Dave Perry it was great fun!

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ISTiOSELIDA: Was it good for you too? Did u enjoy it tonight?
Dave: (laughs) YES!!! A lot. I really enjoyed it, I always do. I love what I am doing.

ISTiOSELIDA: Yes, but honestly now, u never get bored? U never say lets finish take my money and go home?
Dave: Look, I would still do it even if I wasn’t needed the money. Of course I need the money to support my family but I am lucky enough to earn my living by doing something that I really love.

ISTiOSELIDA: You still sail. Haven’t u had enough?
Dave: No I never got bored. But there was a time that I’ve stopped sailing. Not because I fed up with it but because I had other priorities in my life. From the age of 10 up to 30 I sailed very hard and very competitive and I had made a promise to myself when to turn 30 to stop sailing and focus to family. And I did it for 20 years I’ve stopped sailing. I was working as a sports teacher at a high school and I was very satisfied. Then just as I turned 50, instead of buying a sports car, or find a new girlfriend (middle age crisis) I started sailing again.

ISTiOSELIDA: What’s your biggest triumph?
Dave: There are a lot of moments that are important.
If I had to choose I would say these three:
- I went to Yale University when I was there for the first time in the University’s history we won the College National Championship, since then no other team from Yale did it again.
- Congressional Cup I won it 2 times in 1983 & 1984.
- In 1982 I won the US Match Racing Championship and after 24 years in 2006 I won it again.

ISTiOSELIDA: What’s your greatest disappointment?
Dave: 1984 Soling US trial games for the Olympics at LA. The trials were 10 races. The winner was going to the Olympics. At the end of race 9 we were first, at the end of race 10 we were second. The team that beat us won the gold at the Olympics.

ISTiOSELIDA: what’s the fastest u have sailed?
Dave: I don’t know for sure what the speed was, but it felt really fast. Laser championship at Brazil, wind more than 30 knots and 12ft waves I was surfing down a big wave and I was going so fast that the boom touched my head, it back winded due to the lack of air on the sail.

ISTiOSELIDA: Match Race vs. Fleet race. What do you prefer?
Dave: When I was younger I preferred fleet race.
Now match race, because:
- In match race you spend more time actually racing than preparing to race,
- In match race you don’t have to own the boat,
- Match race is all about tactics, and I am a tactical sailor,
- Match race is all action

ISTiOSELIDA: What’s your favorite boat type?
Dave: Laser

ISTiOSELIDA: Have you ever been afraid at sea? When?
Dave: No not really. You see I don’t like big offshore races with big waves, lot of wind at night, where usually the scariest things happen. At nights I prefer to stay home with my wife and my beer. But, I have been in situations that something bad might happen. One time I was sailing a small dinghy, it was windy and I tipped over and I lost my rudder, it got away, I was drifting on some rocks and for a moment there I was uncomfortable. Finally, a motor boat pulled me away, hopefully.

ISTiOSELIDA: Secret of success?
Dave: Success is a math formula with 3 parts in the equation.
- Knowledge: know what to do
- Execution: do what u know
- Attitude: to work hard, to stay calm, to hate to lose

ISTiOSELIDA: Can multihulls match race?
Dave: Multis’ can match race. Any kind of boat can match race, maybe not in the common idea we have in our minds but definitely can match race.

ISTiOSELIDA: For your taste monohull or multihull?
Dave: For me, for match race clearly monohull.

ISTiOSELIDA: What do u think of all the changes in the 34th AC? Will they advance the sport?
Dave: I don’t know. But there is a big misunderstanding concerning America’s Cup. AC is not a match race event. AC is a contest between nations in order to design and build the fastest more technologically advanced yacht.
Basically, AC it’s a design contest, not a yacht race.

ISTiOSELIDA: Apart from sailing what else do u enjoy?
Dave: Spending time with my wife and kinds. Watching sports, especially American football. Teaching.

ISTiOSELIDA: Thank you Dave was really fun talking to you. Do you have anything you want to say as a closure?
Dave: Paul Elvstrom used to say something that I truly believe it’s true and real.
He said: “The people I meet and the places I go are the real trophies at the sport of sailing”.
ISTiOSELIDA: Interview with Dave Perry! ISTiOSELIDA: Interview with Dave Perry! Reviewed by Panos Douros on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 Rating: 5

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