Stephanie Roble & Maggie Shea
Sailor of the Week: September 20-26
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea. These two standout match racers travelled from coast to coast to crew for Genny Tulloch in San Francisco at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, and Taylor Canfield in Marblehead, Mass. at the U.S. Match Racing Championship. Their steadfast commitment paid off, as they helped lead their teams to victories in each event.
Interestingly, Roble and Shea had never crewed for Tulloch or Canfield. In addition, they performed different roles for each skipper. “With Tulloch, I was on the bow of the J22 focusing on course strategy,” explained Roble. “With Canfield, I trimmed main and ran the pit on the Sonar and focused on boat on boat tactics. It was really important to make sure I was doing my job only and not stepping on any toes inside the boat.”
“For both events, we were lucky to have solid conditions, great venues and boats, and highly competent race management,” said Shea. “We are grateful that US Sailing hosted such high quality events.”
Roble and Shea are no strangers to match racing. Shea crewed for Roble at the US Olympic Trials for Women’s Match Racing in the Elliott 6m last May and October.
Roble learned to match race and sail keelboats as a skipper. “I am trying to make a transition into crewing, so that I can learn new aspects of the boat and racing,” she said. “These events were perfect as I was able to be on the boat in different positions and I learned so much every single day.”
Shea has always been drawn to match racing. “It’s always been my favorite discipline in sailing because it is so fast paced and the level of intensity is constantly high,” said Shea. “Match racing is spectator friendly, because you have one winner and one loser for every quick match. I have also had a chance to sail in so many different keelboats and against fantastic competition while match racing.”
Roble also appreciates the art of match racing. “Most of all I enjoy the need for precise tactics and strategy on all parts of the course and how these calls must be made from the information the crew feeds,” said Roble. “I also really enjoy the short courses because it requires sharp boathandling and constantly thinking on your toes.”
Roble also enjoys the idea of competing more in open events. “I know that women can compete on the same level as the guys, so I want to prove that by sailing as many open regattas as possible with female crew.”
“I would like to help increase the opportunities for our youth sailors to match race and the level of participation of women,” added Shea. “I hope our participation in both these events encourages other female sailors in the states to compete in both in the future.”