Nickname: Stephy, Nini
Hometown: East Troy, WI
Resides: Miami, FL
Stephanie grew up sailing dinghies and scows on Lake Beulah in Wisconsin. She fell in love with sailing at an early age and has always been determined to be at the top. She won the Optimist division of the International Orange Bowl Regatta in 2003 and qualified to represent the USA at the Optimist World Championship in 2004. In high school she sailed Laser Radials and won the Leiter Trophy which qualified her to represent USA at the ISAF Youth World Championship. Steph attended Old Dominion University from 2007-2011 and was an asset to bringing the team to several national championships in the Women’s & Coed Division as well as earning All American Honors. After college, Steph organized an Olympic Campaign for Women’s Match Racing and although falling short, she continues to follow her passion of match racing to this day. Steph is now a full time professional sailor and regularly competes on the J70, Melges 20 and Etchells, in addition to her own match racing team, Epic Racing.
On Ocean and Sailing Passion...
As sailors, we are all so lucky to be provided the opportunity to be on the water. I love sailing because each day and experience is truly unique from the combination of the wind, water, boat speed and team work. It is very important to me to take care of the water that provides us with these special experiences.
I am very much involved with women in sailing, and the concept of mentorship through the platform of sailing. One way I have been able to connect is through older (past college) female sailors getting involved in the sport, and how to stay involved. In summer 2015 I ran a two-day clinic for women and girls of all sailing levels and it was really cool to be able to share my knowledge and passion for sailing with them.
I have also been collaborating with Chicago Yacht Club‘s WOW (Women on Water) and Lunch & Learn sessions.
I am networking with the J70 class, which is highly influential right now, to implement running filtration water systems, and using permanent bow stickers.
I am very keen and committed to get more involved on a few different events and levels on the topics of sustainability and ocean health, including the Orange Bowl Regatta and the Women’s International Match Racing Series, and to focus on Miami as a winter training/sailing community that could include more ocean, marine conservation and sustainability projects.
On Twitter: #hellyhansen #buzzfeed #theskimm #theonion
On Instagram: All of my friends! & #thefatjewish #waterlust