Women’s sailing festival ‘Steering the Course’ - Sailing is my passion, says Stephanie Lalande |09 October 2021
Stephanie Lalande will be celebrating her 17th birthday on October 23, but the young girl is already focused on become one of Seychelles’ finest female sailors.
Since her first competition at the age of 12 in 2016, Lalande has been making progress and she shares her passion with us.
Sports NATION: When did you start to sail?
Stephanie Lalande: My mother and father decided that I could do sailing as one of my extracurricular activities when I was nine years old. That was in the year 2013.
Sports NATION: When was your first competition?
Stephanie Lalande: My first competition was in 2016. Words cannot describe how happy I was. That was when I realised that sailing is definitely my passion.
Sports NATION: How do you feel when sailing with the boys?
Stephanie Lalande: I have never seen the difference in terms of gender with the peers that I am competing with in this sport. I have always considered my peers as family. However, I have to say that I do feel that it gives a bit of gender parity. By competing with boys, I feel that young women and girls like myself are given equal access to this sport here in Seychelles. I have always felt that both boys and girls can do this sport.
Sports NATION: What do you think should be done to encourage more girls to join sailing?
Stephanie Lalande: If you love the ocean, then why not try this sport. There is a tendency for people to think that sailing is a sport only for boys, but this might only be a stereotype. Young girls and women should understand that they can choose to do this sport and they should not be afraid to try something new even if it could be out of their comfort zone.
Sports NATION: How do you feel to be among the small number of girls doing this sport?
Stephanie Lalande: It feels great doing this sport, but I am hoping that this could inspire other young girls and women to try sailing as their favourite sport.
Sports NATION: How did your coach help you to be a better sailor?
Stephanie Lalande: My coach Alain Alcindor has always believed in me even in times when I did not believe in my own self. I believe that it is normal for you to lose courage at times, but my coach has been the other shoulder that I could always lean on for that extra help and support.
Compiled by Gerard Govinden