03 Jul Sara Stone wins midsummer cup with ian williams
A little over a year ago, Sara Stone left her career in infectious disease control to become a Sapling at Oakcliff and pursue her dream of doing the Ocean Race. Since graduating from the program, her career has been pedal to the metal; just last week she did bow on the winning team of the inaugural Midsummer Match Cup in Skärhamn, Sweden.
Sara was personally invited to do the regatta by skipper Ian Williams (GAC Pindar) who is currently ranked number one on the World Sailing Match Racing list. With only four crew on board the Far East 28r’s, each person was hand-picked.
“I’d bumped into Ian a few times through racing M32s, Ficker Cup, and the Congressional Cup,” said Sara. “Even though my focus is offshore racing, I’ve been doing anything and everything I can at the highest level possible because so many skills are transferrable.”
The first day of the regatta was a drift-off but by the end of the regatta the wind was nuking. Ian actually crashed into Eric Monnin’s boat in the prestart of the first race of the finals, earning Williams a black flag penalty and a -1 on the score line. After Eric won that race, prospects were looking bleak for the team.
“We just persevered and pushed through a hard time on the boat. It was really important to keep our heads in the game.” Sara said. “We went on to win the next few races to be tied 2-2 with Eric. The last race had four changes of position but in a last-ditch effort we overtook them on the final downwind and won the regatta.” (link to video of downwind overtake)
With plenty of wind in her sails after this win, Sara will continue to work toward the Ocean Race. She may be back at Oakcliff at the end of the summer for the annual Halloween Regatta if her schedule allows.