Women on the water: Sara Stone
Published on August 30th, 2022
by Joe Cooper, WindCheck magazine
Professional sailor Sara Stone has a goal of competing in The Ocean Race and the Paris 2024 Olympics. With experience from 49ers to TP52s, she was selected as a mentee of The Magenta Project in 2018. Last month, she and Cat Hunt sailed the Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 Alchemist to first place in class and fleet in the inaugural Bermuda Short-Handed Return Race. I spoke with Sara at Cru Café in Newport not long after the prize giving.
Sara, thanks for coming over and congratulations! Where are you from, and was sailing a “thing” in your family?
I am from Marion, Massachusetts, and yes, I grew up sailing but just cruising. My parents had a couple 30-foot cruising boats and we would cruise around Buzzards Bay.
What’s a memorable moment from those days?
My favorite place is Hadley Harbor. I remember leaving in the morning and it feels, now, like it took all day to get there, but we’d be there before dusk and drop the hook, and there would be chips while we watched the sunset. We would get in the dinghy and go exploring. My uncle liked to build boats, so we had these beautiful little custom rowing skiffs with sailing rigs, and we could mess around in them.
Did you sail in sail in high school?
No. It was my intention to sail, but I’m pretty tall and sailing a 420 was, well, difficult. The rowing coaches got a hold of me and said, “You should row.” I ended up rowing and loved it, and I was fast. I ended up getting recruited to row at Dartmouth. I spoke to some college sailing coaches and they were like, “Argh, you’re too tall.” So, rowing it was.
When did you start to sail at what has now become a professional level?
I left my last “traditional” job in 2018 to pursue sailing full time. I am an epidemiologist by training and an emergency response professional. I study infectious disease control, and I worked in that field for a few years. When I saw the women of Team SCA going around the world I thought, “Holy cow, that looks unbelievable! How do I do that?” – Full report