Originally from midcoast Maine, Arista Holden grew up sailing in various traditional small craft throughout Penobscot Bay. While attending Hampshire College she participated in the 2002 Atlantic Challenge Contest in Rockland, Maine as part of the Russian team, and the following summer lived in Russia for six months, sailing and rowing with the AC Russian crew much of the time.
Arista has worked for Outward Bound, NOLS, the Nova Scotia Sea School, the Wooden Boat School, Morse Alpha Expeditions, captained the viking boat POLARIS, and has trained the Atlantic Challenge US team and other Bantry Bay gig programs since 2010. She is the Trustee for AC USA and currently runs the Bantry Bay gig program in Belfast, Maine.
She holds current Wilderness First Responder,CPR, and Lifeguard certifications and a USCG 100-ton Masters captain's license. She plays the mandolin.