Meet the Sailors

The Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team is comprised of women ages 16 to 57. We have racing in our blood and our passion for sailing runs deep. Our trust and confidence in one another strengthens with every race. The majority of the team’s sailors live in Maine with just a few located along the shoreline in New England. When we are not sailing, we are juggling full lives as working professionals, moms, and even a high school student.

 
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Erica Beck Spencer

Skipper - Portland, ME

Erica’s steady hand is always on the tiller of the J24 the team sails in every race. Erica has sailing in her genes. Her father introduced her to sailing and racing at an early age. “Nothing gives me the feeling I get when racing. Competing in a crowded regatta is like being in a chess game. It’s all about strategy. I think Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team is inspiring a lot of people to push outside of their comfort zones and to try things they’ve always wanted to try, whether it be sailing or something else. We are honored to have Sea Bags as our sponsor. It’s a dream come true.”

 
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Jess Harris

Co-Captain - Falmouth, ME

Jess comes from a long line of Maine boat builders and fishermen. Her father built Friendship Sloops and his boatyard was Jess’s playground. She started sailing when she was eight. Her first regatta was two years later. ”It was a windy weekend on Buzzards Bay and it took three of us to hold the tiller. To this day I still feel that rush of adrenaline and nervous excitement when we race. I hoist and change sails, call the starting line and keep the crew informed of port and starboard situations. I'm the first to take waves in the face and am typically the first to go overboard should the conditions be hair-raising. Racing sailboats is physically and mentally challenging, which to me is a great reason to keep doing it well into my golden years.”

 
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Karen Fallon

Tactics Caller, Bowman - BRISTOL, RI

Karen started sailing with her grandparents when she was three months old. Throughout school and college years she was on racing teams. After college she continued team racing around the world. “Sailing is a lifelong sport and there is always more to learn. SBWST is always trying its best. We are always right in the mix with the male teams. We exemplify sportsmanship and class. I hope we inspire girls and women in the male-dominated sailing world.”

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Carol Pickering

Mid-deck Controller, Bowman - Portland, ME

Carol grew up in Kennebunkport in a large sailing family. “As a small child on my parents’ boat, I remember the feeling of calm. As I’ve gotten older and more involved in racing, I have learned to challenge myself and prove that you’re never too old to learn something new. I love being part of a team of women that supports each other. I’ve also learned that I can do more than I sometimes expect of myself. I know that I’m part of a team of champions. I hope that my association with SBWST has shown my son and daughter that women and girls can do anything they set their minds to because racing is tough”

 
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Sandy Yale

Twing and Vang Controller - YARMOUTH, ME

Sandy may be the youngest on the team but she has been passionate about sailing for many years. She began sailing at age seven and joined SBWST at age twelve. She’s now in high school, “I’ve always loved being on the water and I’ve always been super competitive. I really look up to Jess and Erica. The whole team is an inspiration. They are strong women and amazing individuals. ”

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Joy Martin

Down Wind Trimmer - STANLEY, NY

“No one sailed in my family. I knew nothing about racing and didn't even know how to swim.” But things changed in college when Joy went sailing with friends. Before long she was winning local regattas. “I sail for the physical and mental challenge, the camaraderie of the sailing family, and the feeling of conquering the elements. As the oldest member of the team (57), I was delighted that my younger teammates wanted me and valued me as part of the team. I have taught many girls and women to sail and compete.”

 
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Hillary Noble

Tactician and Strategist - Greenwich, RI

Hillary was the first in her family to sail. By the age of ten, racing had become a passion which led her to various school sailing teams and numerous regattas until she finished college. She is a certified sailing coach and instructor. “I've never been more satisfied with anything like I have with sailing. It's just a feeling I cannot describe, but it makes me feel whole. My role on the boat is different than in any other sailing team I've been with. Working with others onboard a 24' boat is no easy task but we've really grown together as a team over the past few years.“

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Emily Carville

Upwind and Downwind Trimmer - Freeport, ME

Emily credits her parents, sailing team friends in college and her husband for her passion for sailing. “I am a better mom, wife, friend, and employee when making time to get out on the water. It is there I can achieve a sense of clarity and purpose and then bring that all back into shore. The singular focus that sailboat racing demands enables a camaraderie like none other. Sea Bags’ sponsorship enables this group of fine women to pursue our individual and collective passions and to support the greater sustainability effort Sea Bags is helping to drive.”

 
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Katie Drake

Upwind Trimmer, Cockpit Liaison - Portland, ME

Katie was born to love sailing and the ocean - because her parents did. “There are pictures of me sailing with my parents on their J/24. I was in a car seat down below in the cabin. I love the tranquility and freedom of sailing. I've never had the same experience twice. I like the challenge and opportunity to learn more with every event.”

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Kim Calnan

Tactician - Newport, RI

Kim is an experienced racer and sailing coach. As tactician, she brings calm to racing when it reaches a fevered pitch. “I believe I bring value to Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team because I've raced in all the positions on the J24, I keep a close eye on everyone. Our teamwork is amazing and when things get tense during a race I'm quick to offer a bit of comedic relief to keep us all at ease. Few things make me happier than being on the water and I love encouraging other women to sail.”

 
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Grace Mooradian

Mast & Middle - Boston, MA

"My passion for sailing started when I was seven living in Hawaii with my parents. I remember feeling very free and relaxed when I was on the water. I still get those feelings but over the years I've  totally taken to the thrill of competitive sailing. I am the Skipper of Boston University's Women's Sailing Team and started racing with SBWST the summer of 2018. Racing with so many talented female sailors and supporting young sailors, especially young girls, inspires me to  constantly improve my skills. I have learned to make sure I address everything each crew members says. That way everybody feels they are part of reaching the end goal as a team."