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Women in Marine: Sara Hastreiter

  • by: Conor McKeon
  • On: 24, Nov 2017
2 min read

What inspired a young girl from the mountains of South Dakota to become a competitor of the most challenging offshore race in the world? VHR profiles Volvo Ocean Race sailor Sara Hastreiter on her sailing success so far, and her surprising return from the wave crest to the mountain summit.

Hastreiter spent her childhood in Wyoming, home of Yellowstone National Park, an unbelievably beautiful location and the first National Park in the world. Growing up in an idyllic environment was destined to spark a passion for exploring the natural world.

In the summer of 2008, an internship programme in the US Virgin Islands gave Sara Hastreiter her love for the sea. Driven by an unquenchable thirst for new challenges, and equipped with strength, determination and natural talent, Hastreiter soon made a name for herself in the professional sailing world.

Only six years after her sailing initiation, Sara Hastreiter was already training with Team SCA, the famous all-female team of Volvo Ocean Race competitors in 2014 and 2015. Team SCA introduced Hastreiter to Sam Davies, two-time Vendée Globe race competitor and renowned single-handed sailor, and one of Hastreiter’s biggest inspirations.

Today, Hastreiter is looking forward to completing her next challenge: climbing Mount Everest.  A lack of sponsorship preventing Team SCA from competing in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race, Hastreiter will solo-sail through a new exciting and challenging adventure.

Sarah Hastreiter: Controversy at the Volvo Race 2017

This year’s Volvo Ocean Race announced an initiative to incentivise the incorporation of female sailors in the competing teams. A new rule allows teams more than seven members if there are women in the team or if the team is completely formed by females. See the possible race team combinations below:

Commended by many in the sailing industry, the idea also met controversy. Team Brunel’s Bouwe Bekking voiced his dissatisfaction with the recently implemented rule in an interview for the BBC. An eight-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor, Bouwe Bekking feels that teams should have total control of their sailors and views the rule change as a marketing strategy.

Despite the uneven reception, Sara Hastreiter welcomes the rule change decision and considers it a step towards higher female involvement. Hastreiter comments of her days sailing in Team SCA, ‘It’s pretty amazing to be out on the water and look around you to see a group of girls racing together, in a project backed by such a strong support crew and an enthusiastic sponsor.

Support Sara Hastreiter in her Mount Everest mission – Find out more about The Magenta Project.

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