Meet our Team
Erica Lush, Captain
Captain Erica Lush joined America's Cup Charters full time in 2016 working on Intrepid US 22 as first mate & then captain during the 12 Metre Worlds in 2019 and now is the captain of Weatherly US 17.
Erica first opened her eyes to the lure of powerful oceans at age 8 when she read about a woman who competed in the OSTAR (a solo transatlantic race) in 1976. She's been hooked on the adventure and challenge of sailing ever since.
Erica came from a strong dinghy sailing background, competing nationally in the club 420. She went on to skipper for Boston University's women's team. Erica graduated from BU with a degree in Linguistics and Arabic and went on to work for a cultural center in Boston, focusing on web design and advocating for Arab-American rights. In 2019 she joined the famous Farr 58 "Maiden" on their World Tour, raising awareness for girls' education while also bringing women offshore to promote female sailors in the sport. Erica has logged over 40,000 nm offshore over the last 6 years, including crossings of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and transiting both the Suez and Panama Canals in the same year.
Having grown up in Jamestown, RI, She shares her wealth of knowledge with guests on board Weatherly as they navigate her home waters of Narragansett Bay.
When she's not sailing or refitting boats she's honing her language skills in Arabic, Bengali or Spanish, and working on a documentary from a winter spent with a Leprosy village in India.
Mike Patterson, Captain
Mike Patterson is the managing partner of America's Cup Charters. Mike has been sailing, managing and racing 12 meter yachts for more than 2 decades. First as captain & manger of Intrepid US 22 and for the past 8 years concurrently managing operations for New Zealand KZ 3 & several other private yachts. Mike's knowledge, connections, & experience have led him to be well known & respected in Newport RI's 12 Meter Fleet and the perfect person to take the helm of America's Cup Charters.
The years have been active ones for Mike, overseeing numerous restoration projects on Intrepid and other 12 Meters, managing several private racing teams along with an intensive racing schedule for Intrepid including a trip to The America's Cup Jubilee in Cowes, IOW, England in 2001 when they brought back the winning trophy.
Patterson grew up in Colorado Springs, CO where he began sailing at a early age, his first boat at the age of eight was a Laser. A lot of boat for an eight year old, but in 1983 at the age of 13 he won the Rocky Mountain Laser Championships. At 15 he spent a year and a half sailing the coast of Mexico with his family aboard their Island 32'.
Mike was educated at Maine Maritime Academy where he captained the offshore racing team and sailed various boats including 420's, Shields and their 38' IMS yacht Madcap. He graduated in 1996 with a degree in Yacht and Small Vessel Management. The following season he crewed for Ed Baird on his two boat testing program for PACT 2000. Patterson holds a U.S. Merchant Marine 200 Ton Masters License and a 500 ton International Tonnage Certificate.
A resident of Middletown, RI, when not messing about on 12 Meters, he can be found providing support boat services for his 3 daughters' Opti & Laser campaigns.
Shivani Sood, Captain
Growing up in southern California, Shivani found peace in the greater outdoors. Upon earning a degree in Marketing from California State University Northridge, she ventured to the East Coast and found herself drawn to the Atlantic Ocean. After sailing recreationally and in regattas she decided to pursue her dream of sailing professionally.
Shivani started her sailing career as crew on the Schooner Tabor Boy, Tabor Academy’s sail training vessel for deliveries from New England to US Virgin Islands and back.
She then went on to serve as Mate/Chef onboard a 70’ cutter, and now spends her winters in the Virgin Islands running charters aboard a performance catamaran.
Being part of a 20 person race crew in the Gloucester Schooner Race aboard the 130’ replica fishing Schooner Columbia piqued her interest in racing, which in turn led her toward the 12 Meters and competing under sail.
Captain Sood holds a U.S. Merchant Marine 100 Ton Master License and is the Owner and Captain of the bright hulled Heritage.
Julie Lassy, Sails Manager
America's Cup Charters partner, Julie Lassy, joined ACC in 2002. As Sails Manager, Julie works with our clients to specifically tailor their needs to a unique sailing event. She manages all aspects of our office and coordinates all details of our charters to be sure it’s all smooth sailing.
Julie's enthusiasm and attention to detail surely produce a successful event. Be it an America's Cup 12 Meter Regatta, a corporate team building exercise, a family reunion or a private sail for friends - no two charters are exactly alike.
Julie grew up in land locked CT on her family's farm in Litchfield County. Her love of boating came from cruising & fishing the lakes of northwestern CT with her dad. She loves messing about with boats, she built a Chesapeake Light Craft kayak and participated in a Cat boat building class at the Museum of Yachting when she first moved to RI where she is now a resident of Jamestown and never far from the water.
Bruce S. Aldrich, Ticketed Sails Coordinator
Bruce joined America's Cup Charters for the 2007 season as the Sales Coordinator for our Ticketed Sail. A lifelong Newport resident, Bruce brings his energy and love of sailing on Narragansett Bay to his job of coordinating individuals sails aboard our classic 12 Meter yachts. For over 20 years he has taught Physical Education in Newport Schools, dovetailing perfectly with our sailing season.
His communication skills, motivation and organization all work well in managing the calendar for our 12 Meter ticketed sails. Bruce's sailing experience is a great asset for answering any questions regarding what to expect during one of our trips and his lifelong familiarity with Newport, RI and surrounding Aquidneck Island is a great asset for helping our guests plan a fun-filled trip to our area.
When he isn't on our dock at the Newport Harbor Hotel Marina boarding guests, you can find him at the beach working from his waterside beach chair office.