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Erica Lichty
SEASTR Founder

Erica was born and raised in the PNW. Her father is a boat captain and her mother is a designer. In turn, she is a bit of both... Sailing the San Juans as a family and working alongside her mother on job sites. After graduating from the California State Maritime Academy and working on oil rigs and supply boats she applied her skills in the yachting world. She has spent 22 years as a self-made interior yacht and residential designer.  Erica is the paddle columnist for the Northwest Maritime Center’s nostalgic 48North and  Maritime Education Coordinator for the new Maritime High School in Seattle as well as running her nonprofit and paddle racing when the time allows. In 2021 and 2022 she raced the seventy48, a 70-mile human-powered race in the Salish Sea that must be completed in 48 hours becoming the first female to finish the race twice on stand-up and becoming the fastest woman to complete the race on stand-up. 

Charlotte Austin
Valkyrie Project’s Operations Manager

Charlotte is an international mountain guide with over a decade of expedition leadership experience around the world. She has led successful expeditions on six continents.

She has published extensively about environmentalism, gender dynamics in alpinism and exploration, and the effects of climate change in publications including Outside Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York TImes, Alpinist, and The Atlantic. She holds degrees in Environmental Science and transmedia storytelling. She holds a Level 2 Certification from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), is a wilderness-EMT and Leave No Trace Master Trainer, and recently became an extra class ham radio operator. She summited Mount Everest on May 22, 2019.

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Molly Howe
Valkyrie Captain

Molly grew up sailing the coast of Maine aboard her parents 32’ cruising boat and sailing with friends. Her family often spent weeks aboard during the summer traveling from Casco bay up to Roque Island. Prior to her senior year in high school, she lived aboard a Freres 50 aluminum sloop in the San Juan Islands of Washington. While in college her sailing career thrived, and she walked onto the Varsity Sailing team, sailing over 100 days a year. She sailed a wide variety of boats from 420’s, Colgate 26, Catalina 37’s and Navy 44s. After graduating in 2015 she moved to Seattle with her now husband. Together, they live aboard a Farr 50 and Molly sails competitively 3 days a week, and almost every weekend, from spring to late winter on their Melges 24, Tasar, or friends’ keelboats. Most recently, she successfully competed in the Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Hawaii on an Aerodyne 43. They finished 4th in class and 15th overall.

Jessica Stahl
SEASTR Social Media & Crew

Jessica's sailing career began over 25 years ago when, at age 18, she boarded the tall ship Lady Washington and spent nearly two years living aboard while sailing throughout Puget Sound and down the West Coast to California.  After disembarking, she lived aboard a 28’ sailboat for two years, cruising South Sound, the San Juan Islands, and the Canadian Gulf Islands. After college, she moved aboard a 36' boat and sailed the Inside Passage from Orcas Island to Ketchikan (and back again) with her two-year-old daughter and then-husband. Next came living aboard a 50' race boat and co-building and running a sailing charter company. From 2010 to 2018, Jessica sailed thousands of miles in all seasons, times of day, and conditions in the San Juan Islands, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the Canadian Gulf Islands, and up to Desolation Sound.  Jess is also a dancer, poet, small business owner, and full-time mom.


Akeyla Behrenfeld
Akeyla is 16 years old and has completed two Seventy48 races - one in 2019 and the other in 2021.  She is a Licensed Washington State Boater and certified SCUBA diver, and has been a member of the Port Townsend High School Sailing Team since the age of 12. She enjoys working with her hands volunteering on the Schooner Martha, sail making at Force 10 Sail loft, and doing anything related to boats. She is an accomplished swimmer, competing at the state level on the Port Townsend High School swim team. She enjoys sailing her 19’ boat Sea Behr, and loves all things animal - especially her dog and first mate, Cinder.

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