Haley King Lhamon '89 was part of the first all-female crew to win the Race to Alaska, a 750-mile sailing race from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska. Her team, Sail Like a Girl, finished the race in six days, 13 hours, and 17 minutes.
"My teammates and I never gave up and never stopped," she wrote on Facebook.
The race, which began June 14, "is anything goes for propulsion except motors or outside support," Lhamon wrote. When the wind wasn't blowing, Sail Like a Girl powered their boat with repurposed bicycles.
Lhamon was initially reluctant to join the team; among other concerns, her oldest son would be graduating from high school in the middle of the race. But with her family's encouragement, she decided it was an opportunity she couldn't pass up. (She made it to her son's graduation, taking a seaplane from Vancouver, British Columbia, between the first and second legs.) With Lhamon as a co-skipper and navigator, the team overcame big waves, strong winds, and a night-shrouded log to finish two hours ahead of the second-place finisher. After paying off some boat bills, the team is donating their $10,000 grand prize to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
"We sailed for ourselves, for the women warriors who've fought cancer and whose names were written on our mast, for people who need a little inspiration to seek adventure, and we sailed for girls and women everywhere who might consider sailing as an opportunity to be strong, skilled, smart athletes even though it's still a male-dominated sport," she wrote. "Go girl power!"
(Photo via Sail Like a Girl's Facebook page)