Dennis Nixon banner image

Nickname: The professor

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

Resides: Jamestown, Rhode Island

Dennis Nixon

"11th Hour Racing represents something I have always believed in - those of us who enjoy the oceans so much have a special duty, to spread the word that more must be done to protect them for future generations."

Dennis’ love of sailing drew him into a successful career in marine law and education. He was Captain of the Xavier University Sailing Team in 1972, and has been racing inshore and offshore for fifty years, from dinghies to 12 meters. He has covered several thousand miles in offshore deliveries. Today, Dennis is still winning PHRF races with his J29. When not sailing, Dennis loves to train and compete in triathlons – in the last 15 years he participated in about 50 triathlons up to the half-ironman level.

On Ocean and Sailing Passion...

My love for sailing drew me into my career in marine law and education.  Sailors become acutely aware of ocean health because it is our working environment.

Career Highlights

  • Director, RI Sea Grant, and Professor of Marine Affairs, URI
  • Associate Dean for Administration, Graduate School of Oceanography, URI
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, URI
  • Legal Advisor, University National Oceanographic Laboratory System


  • Cool Trick: yoga pose "dancer" on a standup paddleboard
  • Free Time: I don't remember having any
  • Bad Ass Moment: Before 9/11, getting to look at the front window of a 747 as we flew over Iceland.
  • Hidden Talent: wicked good cook
  • Guilty Pleasure: my own pesto sauce
  • The Fridge: mostly paleo
  • Best Advice: find something you like to do, work your ass off, and worry about the money later
  • Hobby: besides sailing? big garden where I grow all my own vegetables
  • Fun Fact: too cheap to pay a diver, I scrub my bottom before every race


Not particularly unless they also demonstrate a commitment to ocean health issues.


Sperry shoes and Gill gloves