Summer Sailstice News & Stories
One of the great challenges of introducing sailing to the public is it is often out of site and more difficult to reach. Most kids growing up look out their classroom window and see soccer fields, baseball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, football fields and a multitude of other sports played right on school grounds and in public parks. Typically sailing is far less visible and therefore hard to envision participating.
Summer Sailstice 2016 is approaching faster than it may seem. I realize we still need to get through winter and spring before we can begin enjoying those twilight sails without freezing our fingers off, but the time will pass, and soon we’ll be shouting, “Raise the main, grab the sheets, more trim, tie it off…” and then we’ll know summer is truly upon us.
Gaylen Smith will be spending his winter reading all about sailing adventures in French Polynesia thanks to author, Sally-Christine Rodgers!
One perceived barrier to sailing, which Summer Sailstice aims to rectify, is the myth that sailing is expensive. Many will call us liars believeing that trying to remedy this myth is dishonest, since we all 'know' sailing actually is expensive. However, we think what's truly happened is that the marketing of sailing, like so many products, has skewed towards a target audience of the 1%.
Becky Graham from the Point Yacht Club in Josephine, Alabama is this year’s winner of the Harken Video Competition.
Becky’s entry titled “Adventures in Sailing and Other Stuff” was filmed entirely ‘on location’, with a cast of more than 50 Summer Sailstice sailors enjoying the celebrations and becoming film stars in their own right!
We're walking the docks at the Annapolis Boat Show and crossed paths with Jeff & Barb Steele of the Hunter 27 "Melanna'. We connected because Jeff was wearing his 'Peace, Love, Sailing' Summer Sailstice t-shirt and we couldn't help but say hello. Jeff and Barb have been dedicated Summer Sailstice particpants for several years as members of the Chesapeake based Hunter Sailing Association Station #1.
One of the common themes in conversations about growing participation in sailing is 'how do we keep sailing simple?' It's actually always been simple but perhaps something we've managed to complicate in our endless quest for the ultimate sailboat and day of sailing. But your goal is not the world's fastest, most efficient sail but rather a pleasant afternoon with family and friends there's almost nothing simpler than an afternoon sail.
Enter our newest competition to win a copy of Sally-Christine Rodgers' book Convergence!
Convergence tells the story of Sally-Christine's lifelong passion for the ocean, and the French Polynesian adventure during which she faced her fears and learnt "to surrender to nature".
Congratulations to Summer Sailstice founder and lifelong sailor, John Arndt who was honored with the sailing industry's 2015 Distinguished Service Award at the recent United States Sailboat Show, in Annapolis. This annual award recognizes an individual’s outstanding service toward the advancement of the sailing industry; the enactment of which John seems to have made his life’s mission.
Wether we’re sailing in the river, on a lake, or out at sea I’m sure we’ve all seen evidence of the rubbish we create and its negative effects on our watery environments. So have you ever wondered how we as sailors can reduce our ‘boatprint' and help repair some of the damage already done?
San Francisco Fleet Week (SFFW) is here again and no doubt we’ll be seeing hundred of boaters out on the water this weekend jockeying for position to take in the views and excitement of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels as they perform their high speed, high thrill maneuvers in the sky above. This is one occasion on which we would consider it “okay” to lower your sails - you wouldn’t want them cluttering your view of the sky. But what exactly is Fleet Week, apart from another reason to get out and go sailing?
Summer Sailstice sailors are always happy to learn they’ve won a prize, but this sailing pair were doubly surprised when they received more than they expected from New England Ropes!
Even if you don’t own a boat, Summer Sailstice is a great time to get out on the water and enjoy sailing. SailTime offered just such opportunities during this year’s celebrations, as well as offering free sailing in the Texas Gulf!
Kate Conway and her family are serial solstice sailors, and they also happen to be the second place winners in this year’s Summer Sailstice Video Competition!
The past two years Summer Sailstice has had land sailors participating on the great salt flats of the American West. The Nevada Windseekers Blokart Club in Austin Nevada has sailed the gritty, speedy, flatlands of Nevada at high speed for years. So it must be nice to see the America's Cup is joining their game.
September 23, 2015 is the day of the two equal oxen. The mythical day when, according to legend, two equal oxen of equal size and strength pulled the earth in opposite directions stretching it so the day and night turned out to be of equal length. Celestial navigators know this from 'The American Practical Navigator' by Nathaniel Bowditch or perhaps the Old Farmer's Almanac.
You heard it recently from racers on the recent Volvo Race. More recently we heard it from racers in the 2015 Transpac. The oceans need our help. In fact just about everyone who spends time on the ocean shares both an appreciation and concern for the sea. One of the great ocean recreation pioneers has been on the water and teaching the value of the ocean for decades. Jack O'Neill, who invented the surfing wetsuit, is a sailor, surfer and avid ocean advocate.
'I also love sharing my passion for sailing.' Says Diane Reid, the first Canadian female skipper of a Clipper Round The World Yacht Race. One amazing thing about sailing is how much sailors love it and how much they want to share it. Scuttlebutt Sailing posted this recent interview with Diane on the eve of the upcoming start for the 10th Clipper race around the world.
We're always inspired by people with a lifelong passion for sailing and the sea who also manage to make a career of benefitting both as they share their passions with others. Scuttlebutt Sailing just shared this story from the recent issue of Windcheck Magazine on sailor/ocean PHD Shelley Brown who's working with our environmental partner, Sailors for the Sea.
Wells Pile, Chairman of the New England Beetle Cat Boat Association, is another Summer Sailstice 2015 winner taking hope a package of 34th America's Cup 'swag'.
We caught up on the phone with Terry and Allison Canade who were very excited to learn they had won the Sunsail BVI Charter for participating in this year’s Summer Sailstice. The couple had the pleasure of cruising the BVI a few years ago, and Terry said they’re now looking forward to revisiting the region.
Very cool event. The first ever R2AK event was held this year (2015) with the 750 mile adventure race starting on June 7th in Victoria, B.C. and finishing in Ketchican, AK over the weeks ahead. A wide variety of craft participated - paddlers, rowers, sailors, multihulls and dinghies. For most of the 40 challengers it was an epic, very challenging course with big breeze, big currents, no breeze, no current and every variety of sailing condition imaginable.
Scott and Becca Stowers have been participating in Summer Sailstice for several year as members of the Bonneville School of Sailing And Seamanship on Utah Lake in, you guessed it, Utah! Though this is not the first time they've sailed and celebrated with Summer Sailstice it is the first time they've come up a winner by having their name drawn for the $250 gift certificate from West Marine.
Great views and beautiful waters were on hand for this lucky crew...
Multiple sailors celebrated this year's Summer Sailstice by particpating in the Marion, MA to Bermuda Race. Beginning in 1977, "the spirit of the race is that all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an off-shore event.
With sails reefed and a close eye on the radar, sailing vessel “Smoke and Roses“ headed into Charlotte Harbor, Florida to do a half day charter on the day of Summer Sailstice. The stormy skies added some relief to the heat and “with just one couple doing a private charter, it hardly seemed like work!” says owners Dan and Agnes.
Paul from North Carolina thought he was just out for a fun sail on Summer Sailstice, but as an added bonus he is one of this year's lucky prize winners!
Sailing with friends is one of the best ways to celebrate Summer Sailstice, and Paulo did just that...
Sailors are a tough bunch, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Anyone who is prepared to raft-up their boat and stand firm in the face of tornado warnings is pretty tough in my book. Fortunately, it missed...
This little club believe they may be one of the California Delta's "best-kept secrets". Well not for much longer. Have a look at what they got up to for Summer Sailstice, and then maybe go along and join them...
South Coast Sailing Adventures in Kemah, TX spent their Sailstice Celebration sharing dinner and a sail...
One thing we definitely love about Summer Sailstice is how it brings people from around the world together in celebration of a shared love: sailing. And down in the warmer climate of El Salvador, a group of cruisers sure knew how to celebrate in a global manner. Bill and Jean, organizers of the annual El Salvador rally, enjoyed the Sailstice with cruisers from eight different countries!
An American Sailing Association Flotilla enjoyed Summer Sailstice with a weeklong journey! Starting on the Friday of Summer Sailstice weekend, ten sailboats and thirty-seven participants cruised from Bellingham, WA through the San Juan Islands to Victoria, British Columbia. They made plenty of stops among the island including visits to Friday Harbor, Victoria Harbor, Roche Harbor, Reid Harbor and Inati Bay.
In Northeast Montana, the newly formed Fort Peck Sailing Club is hauling up sails and inspiring new sailors
On the shores of a huge lake in Northeast Montana, a half dozen or so sailing-obsessed boaters decided to make a splash: forming the first and only sailing club on a body of water “where any boat besides a fishing boat is an oddity.” The Fort Peck Sailing Club was founded by Page Anderson and Julie Burke, who were looking for fun ways to advertise the opportunity to sail.
How to spread the word? Summer Sailstice of course!
Modern Sailing School and Club, headquartered in Sausalito, CA and introducing the sport of sailing to people since 1983, hosted their first Summer Sailstice flotilla and raft-up party.
San Diego International Boat Show celebrates the Sailstice with a wide variety of events and activities.
The San Diego International Boat Show aligned perfectly with this year’s Summer Sailstice. June 18-21...making every day of the show a celebration!
Members of Hampton Yacht Club, Broad Bay Sailing Association, Hampton Roads Fleet 30, & Old Point Comfort Yacht Club joined forces this Summer Sailstice for a whoppin’ good time!
On the beautiful waters of Clear Lake, a natural, freshwater lake in Northern California, the El Toro International Yacht Racing Association celebrated the Sailstice with their annual El Toro Regional Championships. The Regatta had 19 boats sailing in six races. We send our congratulations to the top finishers, Art Lange (first), Paul Tara (second), and Fred Paxton (third).
Conch Blowing and Flag Raising were the order of the weekend for these intrepid Sailstice sailors...
This merry band from Texas had themselves a 'rum tasting' session as part of their Summer Sailstice celebrations...
Jody from S/V Hula Girl has sent us a few more photos of her crew's Sailstice sailing in Alabama...
The Summer Sailstice Prize Draw is in full swing and we're sending out notifications left, right and centre. It may take a little time as we have had thousands of eager, happy sailors signed up for the 2015 celebration, so please be patient. Meanwhile, we can tell you about some of the prizes already awarded...
Amongst all the hype and hum of modern sailing it's always a pleasure to connect to your sailing roots. At a recent conference on growing sailing almost half the participants stood up and said they started sailing in a Sunfish. So it's great to see the Sunfish class hotly contested in this year's Pan Am Games now underway in Toronto. There are other venerable classes included as well - Hobie 16, Lightning, Snipe and the Laser.
How to make next year’s Summer Sailstice bigger, and better, and wackier than ever before?
While sailors everywhere were hoisting sails and heading off to the race course, a quiet anchorage or a rendezvous Team Alvimedica launched themselves towards a final leg victory in the almost 40,000 mile Volvo Ocean Race. As Summer Sailstice captures a one-weekend image of the whole world of sailing it is always great to have the participation of some of sailing's marquis events and teams alongside the everyday pleasures of sailing.
Like so many West Coaster sailors, Michael and Lisa Rossi have been harboring the dream of heading south while working hard at both a job and preparing their boat, the 40' center cockpit Cheoy sloop 'LunaSea'.
Remember our story last week about the "sailing chicks" who celebrated Summer Sailstice aboard the sail boat Persistence? Well, we asked nicely and got some back story about the girls and their sailing adventures. Owner and Captain Joni B, has filled in the gaps about the vessel and her all girl crew...
Setting sail from Clipper Marina in Sausalito, California, this group of intrepid Hobie sailors celebrated Summer Sailstice with a fun sail to and around the islands...
Ever sailed a Weta? I haven't, and to be honest until now I hadn't heard of them, but after reading this story and looking at the photos and video clip I think I have a new mission...
Norbert Duarte tells us about his Summer Sailstice celebration which included setting the main aboard the Tall Ship Silva...