MMA Cadet Sails Bucs To Top Finish In Navy Shields Trophy Race
By: Dan Crowley, October 10, 2013
Massachusetts Maritime Cadet 2nd Class Priscilla Stoll has a bit of the sea in her veins. She was born and raised near the water and is working toward a career on the water.
Stoll grew up in Pocasset and graduated from Bourne High School in 2011. At the age of 8, her parents enrolled her in the Buzzards Sailing School and growing up she spent as much time as she could sailing the waters of Buzzards Bay.
“I started camp at the school and fell in love with sailing,” Stoll said. “We didn’t have a boat and my parents don’t sail. Sailing is just something that I really love to do.”
Stoll, who sailed for four seasons for the Bourne Canalmen under Coach Dave Fallon, is in her third season with the Buccaneers. Last month she skippered a Navy 44 to a fifth place finish in the prestigious Navy Shields Trophy race off Annapolis, Maryland, making her the first female helmsman from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to do so.
The Buccaneers finished just two points out of third place in the event won by the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy, which attracts competitors from across the country. California Maritime finished second.
A marine transportation major and squad leader with first company, Stoll plans on shipping out after graduation from the academy. She plans to see the world from the deck of a ship and one day return to Bourne, where she hopes to buy her first sailboat.
“Someday I hope to have a boat,” she explained. “I’m not sure what kind just yet, but something I could live on. I’d like to spend my summers on the Cape and then when winter comes sail away to someplace warm.”
Stoll has been a member of the Massachusetts Maritime sailing team under Coach Chuck Fontaine for three seasons and plans to sail her senior year at the academy as well. She has competed on the water for the Buccaneers in everything from a dingy to an Andrews 70, which she sailed last summer from Marion to Bermuda.
With the exception of last year’s Mrs. Hurst Bowl Regatta at Dartmouth College and a dingy event at Salve Regina in Newport, Rhode Island, where the Buccaneers sailed all-female crews, Stoll has often been the only woman in both dingy and offshore races for the Buccaneers. Skippering her Navy 44 last month, she was the only female in a crew of eight.
“We’re all equals,” Stoll said of her teammates. “Being the only woman doesn’t feel any different. We need every single crew member on the boat. We all have respect for one another.”
Whether offshore racing or sailing dinghies on Herring Pond with the Buccaneers, she has found something she truly loves and plans to continue to do for the rest of her life.
“It was a really cool experience,” she said of sailing in the Navy Shields Trophy race off Annapolis. “I’ll always remember it. It was one of the best sailing experiences I’ve had.”