More about Lisa Cole


"The question people have been asking me for the last several years wasn’t, “Will you do R2AK?” The question was, “WHEN will you do R2AK?”  I have been waiting for the right circumstances, the right boat, the right team… I have spent years dedicated to teaching women to sail and helping them increase their confidence on the water. So last year, as I cheered on Team Sail Like a Girl and watched them inspire so many girls and women to get interested and involved in sailing, I knew this was the team for me. I feel honored to get to sail in this race with such an amazing group of badass women, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish as a team. And if we give this race our very best, and what we are doing motivates other women to sail, then I will feel that we have succeeded. 

Besides, if you tell me that something will be potentially a little scary, very hard, and likely quite uncomfortable, I have to do it!"

Lisa hails from California and a large family of sailors, but her real passion for sailing developed when she was an adult in the PNW and started skippering her own boat in beer can races and then got involved in competitive, one-design racing. Combining her fondness for travel and her desire to gain more sailing experience, Lisa cruised in the US and Canadian San Juan Islands, and traveled to the Mediterranean and Caribbean to take RYA practical courses. Eventually she got her USCG license so she could teach others. She has sailed extensively in the Puget Sound and on Seattle’s lakes, cruised and delivered boats in the Mediterranean and up and down the west Coast of the USA, and recently sailed 4,000 nm to deliver a boat from Spain to Puerto Rico, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Lisa balances running SheSails Seattle, a company committed to women teaching women to sail,  with a “day job” in Organizational Development.  When she isn’t teaching sailing, Lisa can be found racing sailboats, skiing, volunteering with baby goats, or enjoying live music.

Lisa's Adventures


  • In 2018 - Sailed 4000 nm from Spain to Puerto Rico to deliver a 76 foot sailboat.
  • In 2018 - Built a team of my female sailing students to participate in the Pink Boat Regatta.  Not only did we win, but the skipper was 17 years old. She is planning to go to a maritime college.   
  • Certified Goat Midwife - Because you never know when you will need one of those during the R2AK
  • Core Crew on J105 Last Tango for many years, including when it was awarded the 2016 J105 Fleet 20 Boat of the Year
  • Quit my job at Amazon to get a USCG Master Mariner license and to spend several months sailing - It ended up being three years before I went back to full time work.  


  • Since starting SheSails Seattle in 2015, I have taught approximately 250 women to sail. 
  • In 2015 sailed from Venice to Spain to deliver a boat. 
  • In 2014 delivered a boat from Seattle to San Francisco.
  • In 2014 won the Pink Boat Regatta on my 25 foot Catalina by raising over 10k for breast cancer research with my awesome crew. 
  • Went to wakeboarding camp where a 17 year old X-Games participant with a broken wrist taught me to wakeboard.
  • Took trapeze lessons in the early 90s - before they were trendy.
  • Committed one summer of my life to perfecting the Bloody Mary (the secret is fresh dill)
  • Taught high school and coached junior high school volleyball.