Stephanie’s parents introduced her to boats and water sports at the tender age of six months. Since then, her love of the water has only grown. She enjoys the outdoors and was a successful athlete in several sports; volleyball, tennis and golf were among her favorites. After sustaining injuries in a serious car accident, she was unable to compete in the sports that she loved. Thus, began the quest to find an outlet for her competitive spirit. One of Stephanie’s many friends introduced her to sailing in July of 2013. After crewing in a regatta her first time out, she was hooked! This new sport nurtured her competitive spirit as well as her love of the water and anything outdoors. It required athleticism, strategic thinking and skill. She was also delighted by the camaraderie of the many new friends she met at a local sailing club where she received the “Rookie of the Year Award” her first season.
After a successful first season, she signed on as full-time crew on a monohull sailboat and began her search for a boat of her own. She needed a vessel that would be flexible enough to sail single-handed or with a crew member depending on weather conditions. Due to her physical limitations, it also needed to be easy to tow, set up, launch and sail. Most of her experience up until the summer of 2014 was on monohull sailboats. One of her friends took her out on a Weta Trimaran and she was intrigued with the way the boat handled. Due to the light winds that time of year, she was still unsure. A few weeks later the winds picked up to 12-14 knots and she got to take the boat out by herself. After several hours enjoying the exhilarating speeds and nimble handling of the Weta Trimaran, she purchased #937 the very next day from the North Carolina dealer. Her boat with the bright pink Screecher emblazoned with “Stephalicious” on it is easy to spot and generates a lot of interest everywhere she goes with men and women alike.
As of November of 2014, Stephanie was elected as the first female Commodore of her local inland lake sailing club in many years. Her plan was to promote the sport of sailing, enhance education and most importantly ensure that everyone has FUN! Her emphasis continues with introducing women and children to sailing and promoting sailing as a family activity, both racing and cruising. Stephanie enjoys giving back by serving as an US Sailing Race Officer and Small Boat Instructor along with forming and coaching a local High School Sailing Team. In addition, she founded a Women On the Water Event for sailors of all skill levels which has had participants from multiple states. As Stephanie travels to various regattas, she spreads the word about Sailors for the Sea and ways to help with sustainability.
Stephanie has a Bachelor of Science in Management and Communications with an emphasis in Electrical Engineering. In addition, she received her MBA in Finance from one of the top programs in the United States. She gave up her successful career in banking to live a simpler life, which now involves cruising sailboats, racing and just having fun on the water. She is certified with the American Sailing Association through Coastal Navigation. These certifications allow her to skipper and navigate a monohull up to 45′ on a cruising trip. In her short time involved in sailing, she has been at the helm of large monohulls everywhere from the Hudson River in New York City to regattas in the Downtown Race series on the Auckland waterfront in New Zealand. By gaining experience on many different vessels, it has helped develop her skills and confidence in a short period of time.