How did you first discover Sailing and what attracted you to the sport?
I've been a water baby since birth. Growing up near the Eastern shore in Maryland, I spent many summers on jet skis and powerboats, but it wasn't until moving to San Francisco that I had my first sailing experience. I was instantly attracted to the adrenaline of being on the open water, and the mechanics of the beautiful sails.
Do you have any sailing mentors that have influenced you along the way?
I don't have a mentor per se (totally open to one!) but I have had several sailing encounters with tenured sailors, even one who sailed to New Zealand from San Francisco. I was inspired by his and many other sailors' stories of being out on the open seas.
What kind of sailor would you categorize yourself as? (ex. Weekend, cruiser, racer, etc.) Is there any type of sailor or sailing ambition that you have for the future?
Inspirationally, a racer, however a more reasonable goal to aspire to is a cruiser. After being a neighbor to a board member and watching America's Cup in San Francisco, I was hooked. Seeing the boats glide across the water like knives in the sea was magical. Currently, I"m a weekend sailor; attempting to find a sailing group to go out within my new home town, Newport Beach!
Were there any barriers you faced in trying to start sailing? If so, what were they and if there are any ongoing barriers explain those as well.
I think the biggest barrier to entry is not having a sailboat Next, it was finding sailors to go out with. Once I connected with Noelle and the Fresh Crew at St Francis Yacht Club, I was able to use those one or two sailing experiences to motivate other sailors to have me on board as crew (or just to cruise). I also had a rough time dressing appropriately for the boat.
If you could be sailing anywhere in the world right now where would we find you?
What are your top sailing goals for 2021 and beyond?
I plan to join a club and volunteer this year to improve my skill set. I'd say once you outside of the golden gate bridge as a newbie, which I accomplished over the summer on a Saga 43 Robert Perry design, the rest is cake.
What advice do you have for aspiring women in sailing?
- Don't be shy. Most sailors are super nice and open to teaching. They are thrilled when others share the passion and do it for the cause and not just for the aesthetic.
- Dive right in (no pun intended). Places like San Francisco are some of the best places to learn. It can be quite cold and windy on the choppy water so you could be starting at an "intermediate" level.
- Dress appropriately. Sailing can be intimidating. Make sure you're warm and cozy, wearing hi-visibility gear, and a life jacket. Also never wear black soled shoes on a boat.
Introducing Sømand, technical sailing apparel designed for women
A new sailing apparel brand has arrived that aims to put women at the forefront in an industry that has historically catered to men. Sømand was founded by Bay Area sailors Noelle Brewin and Laura Levy, who set out to challenge the perception of what a sailor should look like and create apparel that empowers women to feel confident, be comfortable, and perform their best while sailing.