An Interview with Deidre Lambert, Quantum’s Women’s Collegiate Sailor of the Year

Diedre Lambert, Quantum's Women's Collegiate Sailor of the Year
Photo by Brian Schneider/www.ebrianschneider.com
 
Each year, Quantum Sail Design Group presents the Women’s Collegiate Sailor of the Year Award to a female sailor who has performed at the highest level of competition in district and national championships. This year they recognized Deidre Lambert, a junior at Dartmouth College. Deidre is the first woman to win the award twice, having won in 2013. We asked Deidre how it felt to be the first two-time winner and what plans she has for the future.
 
You are the first woman in the history of this award to be recognized twice. That is quite an accomplishment! How does it feel to be the first repeat sailor of the year?
 
I am extremely honored to receive the Quantum Women’s Sailor of the year award, especially being a finalist alongside Morgan Kiss and Erika Reineke – both very talented sailors. This year, I was more focused on helping the team do the best we could than winning the award again, but it is a great honor and a success for the entire team.
 
What have been some personal highlights for you over the past two years?
 
Definitely the past two Nationals have been really exciting. This year it came down to the last B-division race to see if Yale or we would win. They sailed a great regatta, but it was awesome to come out with the win. Last year’s Nationals were not as close but still very cool. During both regattas the rest of the Dartmouth team back in Hanover was super supportive. They even welcomed us home at midnight during finals period to celebrate the victory.   
 
How long have you sailed with your crew? How did she help your performance?
 
I started sailing with Avery Plough ’14 right after team race qualifiers this spring. My crew for the past two and a half years, Carissa Crawford ’14, was injured this spring and couldn’t sail at all, so I had a variety of crews for the season. Avery helps a ton with tactics, finding pressure, and generally keeps the boat calm and focused. She is an amazing crew, and she was instrumental to the both the team’s success and mine.
 
Lambert and crew, Avery Plough, at Sperry Top-Sider Women's Championship
Photo by Brian Schneider/www.ebrianschneider.com
 
You've been sailing for a long time – when did you start setting goals for yourself as a competitive sailor? What has the journey been like for you?
 
I think I started setting goals sometime in junior sailing, maybe even in Optis, but in college my coaches have helped me set more process-oriented goals than results goals. They stress the importance of doing the little things right and trying to control what you can control instead of focusing on scores.
 
You have another year of college sailing ahead of you. How are you thinking about next year? What would you like to accomplish?
 
I’m approaching next year with the same mindset I did this year – just try to get better and enjoy the sport. I’ve really enjoyed team racing for the past two springs, and while we definitely improved this year, we have a lot more work to do. We finished one spot away from qualifying for Nationals at TR New England’s, so hopefully next year we can improve enough to qualify.
 
Will you be sailing this summer? If so, where?
 
This summer I will be doing the Thursday night team racing series at MIT and might try to sail some weekend regattas. I’ll also be coaching a few regattas and clinics around New England.
 
Lambert and Dartmouth College team members at the Sperry Top-Sider Championship
Photo by Brian Schneider/www.ebrianschneider.com
 
Does sailing impact other areas of your life? How so?
 
College sailing takes up a ton of time and it has definitely impacted other areas of my life. The amount of time we spend sailing and traveling has definitely forced me to improve my efficiency and time management skills. Sailing on Mascoma has also given me an appreciation for the Upper Valley in New Hampshire and its natural beauty. Most importantly, I have made lifelong friends through the sport and we have a really close team at Dartmouth. It’s awesome to get to practice and travel every weekend with some of my closest friends.
 
What advice do you have for young women coming into the sport?
 
My advice to young women would be to stick with it! I think the lack of females in the sport intimidates a lot of women, but they can definitely be successful. Also, if you are crewing, don’t be afraid to speak up and tell your skipper what you think. It’s actually super helpful to have two people thinking about strategy and discussing decisions.
 
Do you have any after-college sailing plans?
 
After college my plans are to continue sailing recreationally and get on the water as much as I can. I don’t have any formal plans beyond trying to find an engineering job, but I will definitely try to sail whenever possible!   
 
Lambert and Plough competing at the Sperry Top-Sider Women's Championship
Photo by Brian Schneider/www.ebrianschneider.com
 
Sailing Career Highlights
 
Junior Sailing:
2009 Buzzards Bay Regatta, 1/109 (crew Tracy Doherty)
2010 I420 World Championships, 20/78 (crew Tracy Doherty)
 
Dartmouth:
2011 Urn,1st overall, 7th B-division (crew Carissa Crawford)
2011 ACCs, 3rd overall, 1st B-division (crews Catie O’Sullivan, Carissa Crawford)
 
2012 Urn, 1st overall, 1st A-division (crew Carissa Crawford)
2012 ACCs, 1st overall, 1st A-division (crew Carissa Crawford)
2013 Nationals, 1st overall, 1st A-division (crew Carissa Crawford)
 
2013 Urn, 2nd overall, 1st A-division (crew Carissa Crawford)
2013 ACCs, 1st overall, 1st A-division (crew Carissa Crawford)
2014 Nationals, 1st overall, 1st A-division (crew Avery Plough)
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