Dennis Conner, the Stars and Stripes yachtsman dubbed “Mr. America’s Cup,” is now a public speaker and continues competitive racing today. Conner was featured on the new episode of Netflix’s “Untold” series in “The Race of the Century” about his claim to fame as a yachtsman.
The show details one of the greatest upsets in sports history, when Australia broke the United States’ 132-year winning streak in 1983.
Time Magazine wrote in 1987:
The America’s Cup, yachting’s great and garish grail, is a tumorous tureen no handsomer than a camel. In 1983 the news was not only that it was lost but that it was losable. A 132-year winning streak, the longest in all sport, was broken over the ample shoulders of San Diego Skipper Dennis Conner, the best and unlikeliest sailor in the world. He means to win it back this week.
Conner never stopped sailing, although Stars and Stripes 87 sank during Hurricane Irma. He works as a motivational speaker today and lives in San Diego with his wife, Daintry, according to his online biography. He won a bronze medal at the 1976 Olympics, two Star World Championships and three America’s Cup events
Here’s what you need to know:
Conner’s ‘Stars & Stripes’ Sank During Hurricane Irma & He Recently Took on Several Restoration Projects
Conner recently found a new passion in yacht restoration, according to his online biography. He restored the 1925 “Q” class boat Cotton Blossom II that he raced on as a young man.
His bio says:
He spent 17 painstaking months on the restoration. The boat is a jewel and he competed in the Mediterranean Classic Yacht series winning his class in all of the regattas sailed, as well as winning the Concourse de Elegance, Judged by Prince Albert of Monaco for the most beautiful boat at Monaco Race week. He has also recently finished a restoration of the 1910 Crowninshield Schooner “Fame” which he has successfully raced winning the 2011 McNish trophy and the 2012 San Diego Yesteryear regatta.
Conner grew up near the San Diego Yacht Club and became a member when he was only 11. Today, he has been a member for more than 50 years, his website says.
In 2017, Stars and Stripes 87 sank in Hurricane Irma, according to a fundraising page for the restoration project.
Conner Is an Author & Speaker Today Who Continues Racing
Conner continues to race today, according to his website, and he has continued winning in recent years.
“Conner again won the McNish trophy in 2016 aboard his new passion, a 48 foot wood classic named ‘Splendor,'” his website says. “Conner still races competitively in San Diego and internationally, most recently competing in the 6 meter World Championships in Vancouver BC.”
Conner is also an author and public speaker, sharing about his success and what drives him over the finish line.
His bio says:
As an author and publisher, Conner has recounted the motivation, teamwork and commitment to winning on and off the water in his books Learn to Sail, No Excuse To Lose, Comeback, The Art of Winning, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1987, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1988, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1992, 1995, 2003, Sail Like a Champion and Life’s Wining Tips. He is also the co-author of The America’s Cup: The History of Sailing’s Greatest Competition in the Twentieth Century, published in July 1998.
He also sells Stars and Strips merchandise in vintage and throwback designs commemorating the America’s Cup 1987 and America’s Cup 1992 campaigns.