Meet Sailors for the Sea Ambassador Lara Dallman-Weiss - Sailors for the Sea

Meet Sailors for the Sea Ambassador Lara Dallman-Weiss

 March 15, 2024  | By: Jennifer Brett

Meet Lara Dallman-Weiss, Sailors for the Sea Ambassador and 2024 Paris Olympics qualifier in the Mixed 470 Class! Before campaigning full-time in the 470 class, Lara raced on the professional sailing circuit for five years. She competed in Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the Women’s 470 event. In January, she and sailing partner Stu McNay cliched the win at the Olympic Team Trials in Miami, and competed at the 470 World Championships in Palma de Mallorca, securing the U.S. seat for the Olympic sailing event. Here, she shares her insights on sailing, conservation, and her commitment to ocean health.

What led you to competitive sailing?

I’ve always been a competitive athlete. When I decided to go to college at Eckerd and leave my many other sports behind, all of the sudden my entire focus was on sailing, and I poured everything into it.

Can you think of an “aha” moment that made you realize the importance of protecting our oceans?

I can’t pinpoint one moment, but I do remember how impactful the Planet Earth documentary series was on me in a positive way. The videos I’ve seen with animals near death because of a human action or object, have affected me to my core.

My favorite moments in life are while sailing, hiking through a fresh snowfall, disconnecting in northern Minnesota, or anytime I’m deep in nature. There is no excuse to not fight for a better planet.

What do you think is the biggest challenge our oceans face?

I could choose so many topics. I worry about the invasive species that change ecosystems, the dying corals and sonic pollution. I don’t like the rate at which our oceans are heating up and the many toxins humans create and dump. Education and accurate information are vital so we can all make choices that can help the oceans.

What commitments have you made towards restoring ocean health and what would you challenge other sailors to do?

I prioritize education and sustainability in my daily life, from food choices to waste reduction. Since fueling is major for athletes, I look for food options that are positive for the environment, especially when I travel. The main things I look for are local produce, wild caught fish, local meat or plant protein, and a major bonus is finding a refill store so I can spare the packaging! 

Another thing I would do when I sailed professionally was to check in with different team chefs and take their leftovers from the weekend. Since a lot of regattas were in my hometown, I was able to save money and help teams not waste. I realized through this that part of helping our environment is simply communicating and connecting the dots; perhaps you know of a team who built this great water filtration system and you notice other teams using single-use bottles, why not make a recommendation? 

How do you think the sport of sailing can lead efforts to protect the waters we love?

By fostering a sense of community and advocating for eco-friendly practices like being Green Boaters and participating in Clean Regattas.

Follow Lara Dallman-Weiss’s Olympic journey at Lara Dallman-Weiss (@ldallman)