October 5, 2017

Sea Bags women's sailing team returns with a trophy

Courtesy / Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team
Courtesy / Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team
The all-women crew of Sea Bags sailing team celebrate their first-place finish for all-female sailing crews in the 2017 J/24 World Championship in Mississauga, Canada.

About Sea Bags

Founded in 1999, Sea Bags' home store and headquarters is at 25 Custom House Wharf in Portland.

The company is in an expansion mode, opening its third Maine store in Camden this spring, which was its ninth new location to open in the past two years and 12 stores overall. Earlier this year, Sea Bags opened stores in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and Portsmouth, N.H. Outside of Maine it has five stores in Massachusetts (Chatham, Newburyport, Rockport, Mashpee, in addition to Oak Bluffs) as well as locations in Mystic, Conn.; Greenport, N.Y.; and Cape May, N.J.

Maine stores are in Camden, Freeport and Portland.

All Sea Bags stores operate a Sail Trade Program, where customers can trade in used sails in exchange for a Sea Bags product. Sails are evaluated by size and condition to determine the trade. Through this process, Sea Bags has reclaimed 500 tons of sails since 2006. Last year alone, the company accepted 5,500 sails that would have otherwise gone to a landfill.

For the first time ever, an all-women team of sailors from Maine won first place for all-female finishers in the 2017 J/24 World Championship in Mississauga, Canada.

The Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team, skippered by Erica Beck Spencer, won the Jaeger Women's Trophy for all-women crews at the Sept. 15-23 competition featuring qualified J/24 racers from all over the world. Sixty-three teams from nine nations traveled to Toronto, Ontario for the 2017 J/24 World Championship that consisted of 10 races over five days of racing.

The Sea Bags team finished 39th overall out of the 63 teams competing in the event.

Sea Bags has a long history of supporting sailing regattas and teams, including the 2016 Atlantic Cup, 2015 J/24 World Championships, 2009 J/24 Nationals, 2013 J/24 North Americans, the Offshore New England Championships, and the 2007 Horton/Nichol Olympic Campaign. This is the first time the company has sent an all-women's team to a world championship race.

In addition to Spencer, the team was made up of owner Jessica Harris, Katherine Drake, Charlotte Kinkade, Joy Martin and Hilary Noble.

"We could not be more proud of Erica and Jessica and their all-women's team. They have worked so hard individually and together to win the Jaeger Women's Trophy," Beth Shissler, president and COO at Sea Bags, said in a news release.

Spencer added: "Our goal was to be the top women's team and to reach that goal felt surreal. We started off the event as the top team, but that is almost harder than coming from behind, as the other women's teams were steadily getting better as the week went on."


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