Dawn Riley has enjoyed a long and successful career as an America’s Cup competitor and manager. In 1992 she was recruited to join Bill Koch’s AMERICA3 defense team, and three years later, she was the team captain of the all-women’s America’s Cup crew aboard MIGHTY MARY. When the Cup moved to Auckland, New Zealand for the 30th Defense in 2000, Riley organized a challenge named AMERICA TRUE. Her team advanced to the semi-final round of a highly contested series of races for the Louis Vuitton Cup. In 2007 she was the general manager of the K CHALLENGE based out of France.
Riley gained public exposure and valuable experience as a crew member aboard MAIDEN in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race. The team exceeded expectations and even won the toughest leg of the race in the Southern Ocean. In between her campaigns with AMERICA3 she skippered HEINEKEN in the 1993-94 Whitbread Race. In 1999, Riley was named Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year for winning major championships in both match racing and fleet racing.
Since 2010, Riley has served as the Executive Director of Oakcliff Sailing, an organization dedicated to building American leaders through sailing. She is the third woman to be inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame following Gertrude Vanderbilt and Lucy Jewett. Her persistent advocacy has encouraged many women to spend more time on the water and to own their own boats.