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The Daily Dish Below Deck Mediterranean

Get to Know Below Deck Mediterranean Season 8 Deckhand Lara Du Preez

Find out what Lara says is the most surprising thing about the yachting industry.

By Shannon Raphael

After a few personnel changes at the beginning of Below Deck Mediterranean Season 8 due to a paperwork snafu and some visa issues, the crew on board motor yacht Mustique is finally shaping up.

How to Watch

Watch Below Deck Mediterranean on Peacock and the Bravo app

Now that he's been promoted to the Bosun position, Luka Brunton is officially in charge of leading deckhands Lara Du Preez, Haleigh Gorman, and Max Salvador

From the start of the season, Lara has proven herself on deck, and Luka even chatted with Captain Sandy Yawn on Season 8, Episode 4 about the possibility of naming her as the lead deckhand (you can see more by watching the clip at the top of this post). He made his decision on the following episode, which you can learn all about by scrolling below!

Who is Lara Du Preez from Below Deck Mediterranean Season 8?

The deckhand hails from South Africa, and she grew up on a farm. On the Season 8 premiere, she told fellow deckhand Haleigh about why she decided to get involved in the yachting industry. "I've been wanting to do it since I was young," Lara said about her motivation for working on boats. "I've always been like surfing and in the water. And I want to become a captain, so I was like, 'This is the best way to become one.'"

Lara smiling in her uniform.

Lara Du Preez's Personal Life

On Episode 2, Lara discussed her sexuality in an interview.

"It was actually in quarantine, when I realized [for] the first time that I like women; I don't like men," she said. "As soon as I came out and really felt comfortable with that I was like, I have wings to fly. Like, 'OK Lara, you can accept yourself completely for who you are.'"

Lara Du Preez Gets Promoted to Lead Deckhand

After taking some time to think about the possibility of promoting Lara to the lead deckhand decision, Luka shared his decision with Captain Sandy on Season 8, Episode 5.

"I was thinking about giving Lara the lead deckhand position today," he told Captain Sandy on the episode, who agreed with his selection.

"I'm glad that Luka is thinking like a leader, and that he's thinking about advancement for his team," Captain Sandy said in an interview on the episode. "I love that he has that mentality."

Once he told Lara the good news, she got emotional. She reflected on her new role in an interview.

"I was really taken aback. Like, it's always been my dream," she said. "I even have a goal board, or whatever you want to call it, and on it was like, 'I want to be lead deckhand.'"

As she later explained, working on boats is her true passion.

"I've lived a very rocky life; I'm a f-cking crazy horse, but something clicked in me as soon as I started yachting, and I can't believe that my dreams are literally just coming true," she added.

Everything Else to Know About Lara Du Preez

Find out what else Lara had to share about her work experience, her background, and Below Deck Mediterranean Season 8 below!

•    Hometown: Hermanus, South Africa 
•    Birth date: March 15 
•    Zodiac sign: Pisces  
•    Years of experience in the yachting industry: Four
    Special skills: "I'm very handy and good at fixing things." 
•    What do you do in your off time on the boat? "I work out, do courses to improve my deckhand skills, and love to socialize."
•    What was your first impression of Mustique? "She was very dirty and desperately needed a cleaning."
•    Favorite place you’ve been on charter/place you traveled? "Bonifacio, France, and Bali."
•    What’s one thing about working and living on a boat that would surprise people? "The people you work with become your family, and you make love-hate relationships."

See more from Lara and the rest of the Mustique crew by tuning in to Below Deck Mediterranean on Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo. Stream episodes the next day on Peacock

Originally published Oct 16, 2023.

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