Summer Sailstice News & Stories
It's a win/win. And then all you need is Wind, water, sailboats, friends and partners like West Marine. West Marine has been a long-term supporter of Summer Sailstice nationally and, when the opportunity is there, local stores do what they can to support it locally.
You may have read that we are recognizing the event with the most RSVPs on our events page with a Summer Sailstice burgee every Sunday from now until the Sailstice.. but there's more!
Sailstice Race Report: As you can see from our events page, many clubs and classes take advantage of the solstice weekend to host summer racing. As we come closer to the finish line for Summer Sailstice 2014, we are keeping track of the variety of races posted - from the most competitive bluewater sailing races to those that might not even qualify as competition if they didn’t put the word ‘race’ right up front.
Sun, wind, sailboats, sailors, sailing all on video with a sound track. What could be better? A collection of videos we'd rather be in than watch but watching is far better than missing it all together.
A French classic - 'Everybody Sailing'.
One of our favorite San Francisco Bay newscasters, Scoop Nisker, would always sign off his news segment with this comment, 'If you don't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.' This was one of the primary drivers behind Summer Sailstice. The general media does a terrible job of telling the sailing story. What do you see in the news?
Getting 'Dear John' letters can get old but in this case it's not so bad. I recently received one from Sailors for the Sea when I pledged $2/mile sailed on Summer Sailstice weekend. Make youre pledge here. If you're name is 'John' you'll get a Dear John letter. If it's something else you'll get a letter saying 'Dear Something Else'
One of the things that makes sailing so different from so many other recreatonal activities is the extreme variety sailors have in choice of 'equipment'. Compare it to tennis or hiking or just about anything. As a sailor you can choose a traditional tallship, a foiling Moth or a Rhodes 19. Or build some unique vessel all your own.
Like the baseball diamond J/Boats seems to have boats in all four corners of the world. Many are seen on the race course but numerous others are out long distance cruising or just enjoying an afternoon breeze. What are all the June 21st summer solstice sailing plans of the world’s J/Boats? On San Francisco Bay there’ll be a J/105 regatta. 32 J/Boats are signed up to sail in the Bermuda Race and will be somewhere near the Gulf Stream.
Where in the world are all the Jeanneaus sailing on the weekend of June 21/22? And who’s sailing them all? You can help answer these questions when you join hundreds of other Jeanneau owners who are out celebrating sailing on Summer Sailstice.
Two owner rendezvous are currently scheduled - one on each coast of the US:
As we all know, if you're a fish, human activity has made life in the oceans much more difficult over the last century. If you're a human, the changes in the oceans are having an increasing negative impact as well. For sailors planning to sail in the Olympics on Guanabara Bay in Brazil the impact could practically be life threatening (Read more at Sailors for the Sea).
Where's a great place to celebrate Summer Sailstice? Chesapeake Bay where there's great sailing, great sailors and a great magazine to stitch it all together. Spinsheet magazine provides an information meeting point connecting all sailors, corners and creeks of Chesapeake Bay and the mid-Atlantic.
Community sailing centers, yacht clubs and companies are all working together to grow a global sailing celebration. Below is some of the creative work we've seen from some who are helping connect all sailors to go sailing on the weekend of June 21. Got an image you've created to promote your event? Send it in and we'll post it. Can you help get the whole world sailing?
We want to show the world who, what and where people sail - to do this we need your help getting the world signed up and sailing!
Classic brigantines and schooners are on board for the 2014 celebration. Summer Sailstice is weekend to showcase the best of the sailing world from Sunfish on inland lakes to the tallships, schooners and other vessels crossing around the world.
What kind of boats are sailing 'together' on Summer Sailstice weekend? With just three weeks remaining lots of people are joining to showcase their boat, events, sailing plans and to support Sailors for the Sea. But what kind of boats are joining?
Is there a sailor anywhere who's never sailed a Sunfish? It seems like just about every sailor has at least once. Amongst the many early, popular, small fiberglass boats introduced in the 50s and 60s the Sunfish remains as one of the brightest success stories. Introduced in 1952 and still sailing strong today there are many signed up for Summer Sailstice and a few Sunfish events currently posted:
2014 has more community sailing programs uniting in celebrating Summer Sailstice to both publicize their public access sailing and connect with the global celebration. Of course, everyone signed up at Summersailstice.com and sailing at any community sailing center will be eligible to win from the grand prize drawing.
Check out the event postings from these participating community sailing programs:
Ever dreamt of an island of your own? When you google that occasional fantasy you’re presented multi-million dollar island properties around the world. It’s nice to dream.
But Hobie has another alternative, the Hobie Island, a combination sailing, paddling, pedaling, kayak, trimaran that just about everyone can own. It’s much more affordable and possibly a lot more fun.
What if you wanted to celebrate sailing and have never sailed before? Or what if you've sailed but don't have a boat? Or just wanted to try sailing for a day? ASA is one of the organizations that could help you get on the water for the first time or get you back on the water after years away. For the past 30 years ASA has been sailing, teaching and celebrating almost everywhere you find wind and water.
June 21 is not only Summer Sailstice but also Ocean Sampling Day and an opportunity for any sailors interested in ocean health to contribute their own scientific observations. OSD has developed a new App, available for Apple or Android, which allows you to take ocean measurements and send them in to the international consortium of ocean microbe scientists who have organized ocean sampling day.
2014 Bermuda racers have a unique opportunity to utilize their Yellowbrick tracking devices sponsored by Pantaenius, also a Summer Sailstice sponsor, by tracking their miles on June 21 to help Sailors for the Sea's ocean conservation programs. The Bermuda race begins on Friday, June 20th meaning on Summer Sailstice, Saturday the 21st and many of the boats will be well offshore in or about the Gulf Stream.
Footloose has invited everyone to come sail with them this year on a Footloose charter for Summer Saisltice:
Celebrate Sailing with Summer Sailstice
With our ocean conservation partner, Sailors for the Sea, we've recently announced the goal of all Summer Sailstice sailors sailing a collective circumnavigation to raise funds for the oceans. You can read the announement here.
As a kid learning to sail on the coast of Maine in the 60s the ocean was still an enormously abundant resource. One annual treat was heading down to the docks with the family for the annual Bailey Island Tuna Tournament where we'd watch the lobsterman who'd rigged up for tuna fishing bring in the 'catch of the day'. It was impressive with large tuna often coming in at 5-700lbs and the largest one ever caught being over 800lbs. They're all gone now.
The National Marina organization which, for many years, has worked with marinas nationwide to promote marinas and the access they provide to the water is now also incorporating Summer Sailstice into their summer event plans. It's an opportunity for marinas to highlight the sailors in their slips, another reason to bring people down to the water and to demonstrate the sailing side of boating.
The Clipper Round-the-World Race just passed through San Francisco in the midst of the latest iteration of the 44,000 mile race. We’ve felt a strong connection to the race over the past for several reasons; this is their fourth trip around the planet with a stop in our home sailing waters of San Francisco, the last few times the boats have all been signed up and sailing for Summer Sailstice usually in the North Atl
Cruising World magazine has been covering, supporting and inspiring sailing and sailors for decades. The recent March issue contained another great cruising adventure by writer Elaine Lembo but this one also included their 2013 Summer Sailstice sail and celebration under the 'supermoon'. Sounds like a super nice voyage.
The recent Strictly Sail Pacific at Jack London Square in Oakland California was once again a terrific place to introduce this year's t-shirts, hats and buurgees plus see old friends and new. A couple hundred new folks sign up to participate in Summer Sailstice 2014 but this was down from past years. Now why is that?
We're always happy to see when publications invite their readers to join all of us in a global celebration by including a story. Multihulls Magazine has been reporting on the catamaran and trimaran world since 1975 and wrote a great story on Summer Sailstice in their most recent issue. The issue also has a tribute to our multihull hero Hobie Alter and
We decided to get a jump start on distributing prizes this year and have recently award Mclube Prizes for boat owners that had already registered their sailing plans! We have sent prizes to owners of all kinds of boats including: Erickson, Catalina 400, Beneteau First, Rafiki 37, Catalina 30, Sabot, and a Cabo Rico sailboat!
Anthony in San Jose will have his camera ready to snap some shots!
Mark in New Brunswick Canada will be sailing his Beneteau (pictured below)!
The recent story about the couple and their children rescued 900 miles West of Cabo San Lucas reminded me that when I was 24 years old I helped sail a Westsail 32 from North Carolina to the Virgin Islands with very good friends and their almost 1 year old baby. As all sailors know the oceans, the wilderness, the highways and the whole world is filled with young couples taking children out for adventures.
In a terrific new book Herb McCormick’s ‘As Long As It’s Fun’ covers the life and times of renowned cruising sailors Lin and Larry Pardey. They’ve lived a remarkable life sailing hundreds of thousands of miles on boats they built themselves all without an engine and all the ‘modern’ safety gear most of today’s cruisers feel is essential.
Sailing lost one of it's most admired contributors. Hobie Alter, creator of the ubiquitous Hobie cat, passed away leaving behind millions of sailors who's lives were enriched by their first and often many more sails on a Hobie plus the company that continues making affordable, fun sailing available to all. The original and all subsequent Hobies have been colorful, quick and simply the expression of joy on the water.
There aren't many countries on a continent that can say you're never more than 50km and fewer still that might be so interspersed with sailors. Yes, some island nations just might post a challenge but, reading some recent sailing 'fun facts' coming with Aarhus, Denmark's bid to host the 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championships, you'd think there isn't a country anywhere that can compare. It sounds like there are so many sailors you'd be practically tripping over them everywhere.
Would you pause a moment to think how, as a sailor, you’re messing around on one of the world’s greatest innovations? Have you thought about how the boat that gives you so many bruises but so much fun was part of the long march of human technological progress? If you’ve never thought about it that way you’ll be happy to know 12 very smart and accomplished American thinkers included the sailboat on a list of the world’s greatest breakthroughs.
Here are a few pictures of Capt. Jon Plowman wearing the America's Cup shirt he won in the Summersailstice drawing.
Summer Sailstice is a unique global event celebrating sailing across the world from raceboats to cruiser to lakes and oceans. As our audience grows we wanted to let the new members of our community in behind the scenes to see what goes on during a week at Summer Sailstice.
Polar vortexes, deep snow, frozen lakes, frigid forecasts but still there is faith in the sailing future.
2014 already has winners in Israel, Virginia and Kentucky! More early drawings coming in the weeks ahead. An updated prize report follows:
Alistair Murray, CEO of marine hardware manufacturer Ronstan, recently sent out a company newsletter including a list of about 26 reasons to love sailing. We'd have to agree with every one of them. If you have your own add them in the comment section below. Alistair's list:
So, what is great about sailing?
My top 26 (or so!):
How do traditions get started? Way back in 2001 we floated the idea of a global sailing celebration and about 200 people signed up for what was the very first Summer Sailstice. This mostly included 'friends and family' who just liked the idea of a virtual sailing get-together. This spawned one of the first group gatherings when friends at the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda gathered in the Oakland estuary to toast sailing in their inflatable tenders.
In the recent Scuttlebutt Sailing newsletter #4005, January 22, Geoffrey Emanuel wrote some excellent suggestions for changes needed in many junior sailing programs. However, I think the problem may be deeper and can’t completely be addressed within programs. Go to any junior sailing dock and it’s hard to see anything wrong.
In 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' Bob Dylan sang, 'You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows' and today that's more true than ever. And, since sailors have an almost endless fascination with the wind, we thought you'd like to see one of the coolest wind websites we've seen. Click on the image below and you'll see the essentially real-time graphic display of current wind anywhere in the world.
Any chance you'll be sailing in the icy reaches of the North Atlantic on Summer Sailstice 2014? Or Chesapeake Bay? Or the Marshall Islands? Or anywhere on the salty waters of this globe? The photo shows test samples at Palmer Station, Antartica on the Southern hemisphere summer solstice of 2013 and scientists are looking for similar ocean samples on the summer solstice in June 2014.
NorCal Sailing has been covering the San Francisco Bay waterfront online for several years and brings us this story from the racing on San Francisco Bay to the boatbuilding at the Encinal Yacht Club:
Our December 21, winter solstice newsletter brought several responses from across the US where sailing continues despite the shortest day of the year. In fact, since the solstice was on a Saturday, like it will be in June, many sailors were out on the water.