Summer Sailstice News & Stories
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 At
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.
The event map has been cleared of 2013 events and is now open to post your 2014 Event/Sailing Plans. Yes, we know it's pretty far in advance to know exactly how you'll be celebrating sailing in June 21, 2014 but, hey, like all plans you can change them later as they develop. But today's the winter solstice - a great time to be sailing if you're in the Southern Hemisphere and a great time to be planning to sail if you're in the North.
So says Steve Martin. It's not quite night in the Northern Hemisphere (unless you're in Sweden, Norway, Alaska or a few other places) but it is dark. But that all changes as the Sun hits the Tropic of Capricorn at 23 degrees, 27 minutes South on December 21st. For many of us these are the chlly months where we're trying to hang on to whatever sun we can.
One of the great challenges and opportunities for sailing is connecting with the kind of sailing you enjoy most. Just have a look at a sample of they types of sailing folks are doing on Summer Sailstice:
Every year we add new stories from Summer Sailstice celebrations around the world. They all add up to a menu of ideas for how you might want to celebrate with you club, class and friends locally. Beyond Summer Sailstice races, cruises and rallies we've seen things such as:
Someone should buy this guy's boat! Just because he wrote it,because he says it better and because he explains why you should get off the 405 and onto the water. Or out of the mall and on the water. Or just get out on the water - with this Catalina 27. If you want to act fast and read this on the Craig's list listing go here now: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/boa/4234040827.html
Just maybe. Reading the following from Elaina Breen, who just crewed aboard 'Henri Lloyd' in the Rio to Cape Town, South Africa leg of the Clipper Round the World Race, you get some insights on how and why individuals put their ego aside to survive and succeed. Something sailing can teaches all sailors on a crewed sailing adventure.
Join Bob Diamond of Spinnaker Sailing in Redwood City for this annual trip to the BVI's. Bob has been a longtime supporter of Summer Sailstice and we are thrilled that he will be spending the holiday on holiday in one of the best sailing destinations in the world! If you are looking for a way to take your Summer Sailstice to the next level I would recommend finding out more information from Bob!
Tony, who owns a Tartan 37 in Annapolis Maryland, was the winner of the Lightening master prize from Forespar! Pretty good prize for his location. He shared this great video of sailing on the Sailstice!
We have awarded the Grand Prize of $5000 certificate for a charter in the BVI's from Footloose! Jose was the winner of this prize and he took the time to tell us about his sailing story:
What kind of boat do you sail?
One of the great things about Summer Sailstice is connecting with sailors doing great things for both sailing and the world's oceans.
It's a simple 'mantra' but it's one we love. And it's true for Summer Sailstice. Over the years people have suggested Summer Sailstice would be a much better event if we made it a 'boatstice' - you know an event that is for all boats, i.e. powerboats too. Now it's nothing against power boats - they start races, tow home sailors, rescue people and can be tons of fun. Of course, it's a reciprocal arrangement, sailors do the same powerboaters and it's a code of the sea.
The twelve yachts competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race headed out of Table Bay the other day to start a 4,700 mile Southern Ocean sleigh ride to Albany, Western Australia. The new, matched 70 foot ocean racers are headed deep into the Indian Ocean and are sailing these Southern Latitudes as the local Summer Sailstice approaches on December 21.
Are these guys crazy? Sailing San Francisco Bay can be tough enough but swimming across the entrance of the Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge would be very challenging. For Summer Sailstice 2014 sailors will be sharing the Bay with swimmers doing just that.
I love awarding the prizes for Sailstice. I get a huge mix of responses. Some from doubters:
I've never won anything before...I thought it was spam! What do I need to do? ..........Tony
no, somehow I missed this! .......... Now, Abby, are we sure this ins't some kind of scam? :-).............Kris
Some from people excited to have won something:
Weta Summer Sailstice organizer in SoCal managed to win himself an Easy Stow fender when he signed up for Summer Sailstice. At the end of the summer, during the America's Cup on San Francisco Bay, he traveled North to race at Richmond Yacht Club in the Weta West Coast Championships. He kept up his prize winning ways picking up a 3rd in a fleet of 14 Wetas. Keep it up Bruce.
We awarded 3 charts to Summer Sailstice sailors;
Congratulations to Collenne who is moving her boat Mariah to Holland, MI from the Chesapeake. Her mast has been taken down and the 18-wheeler arrives next week. We'll be sailing Lake MI and possibly other of the Great Lakes, she will now have a new chart to get to use when exploring new waters!
We've just picked up some 34th America's Cup sailing gear and want to offer it to some first time Summer Sailstice participants. We're just starting to plan ahead for Summer Sailstice 2014 which happens to fall right on the solstice - Saturday, June 21st!! If you want to put Summer Sailstice on your calendar and sign up today, we'll award you a 34th America's Cup hat!
We awarded 12 pairs of Spiroll Rope Protectors to boat owners and got some great pics and stories back:
Mark from Michigan shared pictures of his Camper & Nicholson 58 Ketch, 36 tons displacement. Photo on Sailstice is ROXY visiting at the Muskegon Yacht Club; Muskegon Lake; Michigan. Muskegon Lake is one of many along the West Michigan shore that connect with Lake Michigan. She looks like a beautiful boat that can handle any condition Lake Michigan can throw at her!
What we call sailing continues to expand. There was a day when a dhow on the Nile was the only sailboat on the planet. How that's changed! The South Pacific was populated by Polynesians sailing outrigger multihulls. Now, thousands of years later, the vision of sailing continues to evolve.
Believe it or not prizes continue to be sent out after the 2013 Summer Sailstice. Summer sailing always seems to slow the process and an active summer of America's Cup racing on our homeport of San Franciso Bay didn't help but even now, with the America's Cup drama continuing to unfold, we're sending more prizes out the door. And what better prizes to be sending now than more AC goodies.
Packing up or heading South? Or shifting gears? September 22 is the fall equinox and for us that means time to shift gears on the sailing scene. The sun is right over the equator today and and tomorrow it will be shifting its sunny rays towards Southern Hemisphere sailors. Lucky them. Sailors in the Northern Hemisphere need to think about either putting boats away or hustling South to some warmer climes.
The Americas Cup has been happening right here in the home waters of Summer Sailstice and it has been exciting to watch thes boats fly around the bay! We were so pleased to have formed a partnership with the Americas Cup and get some great Americas Cup prizes including a backpack, waterbottles, fleece jackets, polos and most importantly lots of Americas Cup approved chocolates!
Ever had an ocean microbe in your eye? Of course, since that faceful you received over the bow is full of them. Ever wondered about those ocean microbes or thought about what you can do from the deck of your sailboat to help scientists and all of us understand what's going on below the surface of the ocean? A team of global marine microbiologists has a couple of years of planning into creating the very first ocean sampling day.
Right now is a fun time to be sailing on San Francisco Bay. September is one of the most beautiful sailing months of the year and with the America's Cup also in town the Bay is full of sailboats and uber talented sailors. Yesterday the Red Bull Youth America's Cup finished up with New Zealand taking the top two positions on the podium followed by Portugal in this AC45 one-design fleet.
Congratulations to Paul from Southport CT who won the Hobie i12s Kayak! Paul reports back " Thanks for the great good news! The last time I think I sailed a Hobie it was at a Club Med in Mexico, where we won the weekly event. That meant running down the beach to the boat, sailing out to the buoy and then getting back to the bar and finishing a tequila something before anyone else.
As a congratulations to Carol and the team we are awarding them an Americas Cup backpack and some chocolates! What a great event they put on, we love to see stories of people celebrating Summer Sailstice with boats, good friends and lots of fun!
Carol tells the story of the Sailstice celebration: