When Erica proclaimed she wanted to sail the 2018 J24 world championships with an all women's team, it got some attention - and was the catalyst for what would soon become the wait for it... women's sailing team. Soon, Jess had jumped on board, they'd bought a boat, recruited the most amazing women they knew as crew, and were off to their first regatta – J/24 Mid-Winter Championships at Davis Island Yacht Club - in Florida. With the acquisition of a second J/24 on which they could practice, the ladies of USA 2918 solidified their spot as a team with lofty ambitions, and a knack for being not just a competitive boat, but one that could share laughs, inspiration, and good times with their friends and fellow sailors.
Our goals? The women of USA 2918 believe strongly in Sea Bags' mission to promote greener sail-recycling practices. In addition, the crew aims to encourage women of all ages and backgrounds to fall in love with sailing and empower themselves to be competitive in the sport. They hope that holding up these values will inspire others to do the same.
Skipper: Erica Beck Spencer
Erica was racing on a Friendship Sloop sailboat within months of being born. As a young person she was bow person on her dad's Sunfish before taking the helm and steering her vessel around the course herself. She taught sailing for ten years at various clubs throughout New England and truly embraced racing at the University of New Hampshire--finishing second in NE single-handed dinghy championship and being the first UNH team member to ever go to a National Championship. She grabbed the tiller as often as she was able to for the last 20 years but mostly crewed on Lightnings, Etchells, and J/24s. Becoming the skipper for Team Wait For It and tri-owning Side Hustle has been a dream come true. Erica's most prized aspect of her life is parenting her two children with her husband Hans, in Portland, ME.
Trimmer: Charlotte Kinkade
Charlotte’s first sail was skippered by her mother on the Sheepscott River, in a wooden beach pea that her grandfather made for her. She caught her love of racing sailboats while at SailMaine - where she would later coach junior sailing for eight summers - and continued onto the Race Team at the Portland Yacht Club. She attended Catherine McAuley High School in Portland, Maine and was Varsity crew and captain of her team, Spring and Fall, for four years. Charlotte attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland from 2008-2012, with fellow Sea Bags teammate Marina Carlson, while continuing to race big boats out of Annapolis, MD. Beyond J24 sailing, Charlotte was part of the youngest and also all-female Yngling Frostbiting team, Shake and Bake; raced Etchells in her local Fleet 27; and raced PHRF on a variety of very fast, big boats. After college and a stint of backpacking through Europe, Charlotte returned to SailMaine to be the head coach of Yarmouth High School sailing, and the assistant coach at Cheverus High School.
Charlotte loves maintaining boats almost as much as she does racing them and is ecstatic to be co-owning the good ship Side Hustle with teammates, Jess and Erica. She is now a project coordinator for a New England based natural gas contractor, and can often be spotted out on the Lindsey Lord doing Race Committee with her brown spaniel, Sophie.
Boat Owner: Jess Harris
The daughter of a professional boat builder, Jess grew up on boats and started sailing at an early age. She raced out of Chapoquoit Yacht Club in West Falmouth, MA and entered every regatta possible in the Beetle Cat, Sunfish, Laser and 420 classes. She admits to focusing on grass-based sports in college such as lacrosse and rugby and missing out on some precious years of "free" sailing and coaching. It wasn't until after staying in Boston to complete graduate school and moving to Maine that she got back into serious racing again. Jess is an IT Project Manager at L. L. Bean, Inc. and lives in Falmouth, ME. She races out of Portland Yacht Club mostly on J24s and has also been seen bending hardware on an Olson 30 and any other boat that needs a solid bow woman. Her rescued Newfoundland named, Pickle, is a real treasure.