Mariana Lobato is a professional sailor and trained paramedic from Portugal. Among her many achievements, she participated in the 2012 London Olympic Games and was proclaimed Match Racing World Champion in Korea in 2013.

Mariana started learning to sail when she was 8 years old as the sport has always been a tradition in her family. Her first European championship was performed in the Optimist, the small and single-handed sailing boats for children. After that, she kept on racing in the 420, 470, Match Racing, Snipe and Soto 40 competitions, reaching the podium several times.

Mariana participated in the 2012 London Olympic Games but her greatest achievements came right after as she was proclaimed Match Racing World Champion in Korea in 2013. She has also raced catamarans including the Nacra17, M32 on the World Match Racing Tour and GC32 on the Extreme Sailing Series as foiling trimmer. She has also completed over 14,000 miles of offshore sailing.

Mariana has represented the Mirpuri Foundation previously when she skippered the Team Mirpuri Foundation entry at the World Match Racing Tour in Marstrand in 2018. She was also part of the crew on board Racing for the Planet during the team’s winning Cascais Vela regatta in October 2020.

She now joins the team for the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe, becoming the first ever Portuguese woman to race in a Ocean Race competition.

About

Nationality

Portuguese

Date of birth

23 December 1987

Languages

Portuguese, English, French, Spanish.

Sailing career highlights

1st Match Racing World Championship (2013) - gold medal

London Olympic Games 2012 - Representing Portugal in the Match Racing class

Q&A

What was your first sailing memory?

Sailing has been part of my life since I was a baby. I was so young when I first sailed with my family that I can’t even remember the first time!

Who inspires you?

Jesus. He’s awesome, and always helps me to get into a positive mood with his nice humor.

What is your favourite quote?

“Don’t wait for the right opportunity, create it!” If you are waiting, you are not trying something. Act and build your future.

What was your childhood sailing dream?

To win a gold medal. I was so proud to achieve that in the 2013 World Championships in Korea.

Give us an example of a sustainable attitude to life - what do you do for a better world?

I believe strongly in reducing our reliance on single-use plastic. For example, I always being my own bags with me when I go shopping.

What advice would you give to young sailors to protect the planet?

Every action makes a difference. Start today, not tomorrow.