Summer Sailstice News & Stories


Renowned Cruisers Lin & Larry Pardey Comment on the Value of Racing

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.

April 5, 2014 by John A

Thank You Hobie - Global News Tribute

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.

April 1, 2014 by John A

Never More Than 50 Km From The Coast and Usually Closer To A Sailor

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.

March 25, 2014 by John A

Northwest by Northwest by North

It's a popular week for the North! For some reason the most recent three events to post their invitation on the Summer Sailstice site all have North in their name: Sail Northwest in Seattle, the NorthWest Sailing Association in Chicago and the Northstar Sail Club in Detroit.

March 19, 2014 by John A

How Sailing Helped Transform the World

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.

March 15, 2014 by John A

2013 winner showing off their schwag!

Here are a few pictures of Capt. Jon Plowman wearing the America's Cup shirt he won in the Summersailstice drawing.






March 12, 2014 by Abby

Connecting the dots

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.  

March 8, 2014 by Abby

Faith in the Future

Polar vortexes, deep snow, frozen lakes, frigid forecasts but still there is faith in the sailing future.

March 4, 2014 by John A

New Prizes and Recent Winners For 2014

2014 already has winners in Israel, Virginia and Kentucky!  More early drawings coming in the weeks ahead.  An updated prize report follows:

February 24, 2014 by John A

26 Reasons to Love Sailing

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!):

February 10, 2014 by John A

Good Memories - Encinal Yacht Club Summer Sailstice 2001

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.

February 9, 2014 by John A

Are We Asking Too Much From Junior Programs?

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.

January 25, 2014 by John A

'You don't need a weatherman...' Bob Dylan

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. 

January 21, 2014 by John A

OSD = OSSD, Ocean (Sailor) Sampling Day

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.

December 27, 2013 by John A
Sailstice Tales

NorCal Sailing Sailstice Report from San Francisco Bay

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:

December 27, 2013 by John A

Winter/Summer Solstice 2013

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.

December 26, 2013 by John A

2013 Winter Solstice Newsletter

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.

December 21, 2013 by John A

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."

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.

December 15, 2013 by John A

There Are A Lot Of Ways To Sail On Summer Sailstice

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:

December 15, 2013 by John A

New Ideas for Summer Sailstice 2014

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:

December 15, 2013 by John A

27' Sailboat - Ocean view and other benefits - $5000 (Marina Del Rey)

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: 

December 12, 2013 by John A

Can Sailing Save the World?

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. 

November 26, 2013 by John A
Featured Events, Sailstice Tales, News

Summer Sailstice in the BVI's

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! 

November 17, 2013 by Abby
Sailstice Tales, News

Sailing on the Chesapeake Bay

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!  

November 15, 2013 by Abby
Prizes, Sailstice Tales, News

Footloose Winner 2013

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?

November 11, 2013 by Abby

Rozalia Project and American Promise

One of the great things about Summer Sailstice is connecting with sailors doing great things for both sailing and the world's oceans.   

November 9, 2013 by John A

Where Sailing Comes First

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.

November 8, 2013 by John A

Clipper Racers in Southern Hemisphere

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.  

November 6, 2013 by John A

Share the Bay: Sharkfest Swim on June 21, 2014

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.

October 31, 2013 by John A
Sailing Inspiration, Sailstice Tales, News

No really, is this a scam?

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: 

October 20, 2013 by Abby

Weta Sailor Bruce Fleming SoCal and NoCal Winner

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.  

October 16, 2013 by John A
Sailstice Tales, News

Ocean Grafix helps Sailstice sailors navigate

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! 

October 15, 2013 by Abby

Win A 34th America's Cup Hat

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!

October 7, 2013 by John A
Sailstice Tales, News

Spiroll Rope Protector Winner Tales

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! 

October 7, 2013 by Abby

Kiting, Foiling, Sailing?

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.

October 2, 2013 by John A

AC Prize On The Way

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.  

September 22, 2013 by John A

A Sailor's Fall Equinox

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.

September 22, 2013 by John A

Americas Cup Prizes Awarded

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!

September 18, 2013 by Abby

Ocean Sampling Day and Summer Sailstice Participants Team Up For 2014

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.

September 16, 2013 by John A

Kids in a Candy Store

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.  

September 5, 2013 by John A

American Youth Sailing Force Invites Announcer Ted Harris to a Barbecue


September 3, 2013 by John A

Hobie Kayak Awarded!

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.

August 31, 2013 by Abby
Sailstice Tales, News

Lake Delta Yacht Club Sailstice event

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:

August 25, 2013 by Abby
Sailstice Tales

Winner of Cruising World Magazine

Janet from Old Hickory Lake Tennessee has won a subscription to Cruising World Magazine!  She has shared these great photos from her Summer Sailstice day on the water: 

August 25, 2013 by Abby
Sailstice Tales, News

Other photo contest stories

We really enjoyed going through the stories and photos from the photo contest.  I wanted to share some of the other entrants photos and stories they each won a subscription to Bluewater Sailing Magazine:

If you forget the sunscreen wear a hat, and if you have a roll of paper towels on board, protect those ears!  A prepared sailor is a lot of imagination and some humility mixed in!   SMILE!  From Puget Sound:

August 25, 2013 by Abby
Sailstice Tales, News

Easy Stow fender awarded

Bruce in San Diego was pleasantly surprised to win an easy stow fender! He sails a Weta and is excited to have a buffer from the rough docks for his boat! Congratulations Bruce!  

Report from Bruce:

Hi Guys,

August 25, 2013 by Abby

Sailing - Time with the Family

We get lots of company newsletters extolling the virtues of sailing, boats and all the great things we know and love about participating in sailing.  One newsletter that always seems to strike a cord is the one by Robert Sandberg of Windrider trimarans.  There are loads of Windriders scattered across the planet bringing great pleasure to owners and their families. 

The recent newsletter started like this: '

Time on the water -- Time with the family

August 25, 2013 by John A
Sailstice Tales, News

Photo Contest Go Pro HD 3 Winner!

FLYC Poker Run Fun Cruise on Folsom Lake. Here are some photos from the sunset the night before Summer Sailstice and a picture of the overnight raft up!  Looks like Mark and the crew had a great Summer Sailstice!  They have won a Go Pro HD3 camera for their participation! 

August 18, 2013 by Abby
Sailstice Tales, News

Bluewater Sailing prizes being sent out!

Bluewater Sailing magazine is getting the names for their 200 winners of a digital or print subscription! We are getting great stories back:

Bill won a subscription, he has sailed Summer Sailstice every year since it's inception and  promoted the Event on my Sailing Blogs including MassBaySailors. 

Winthrop Yacht Club, Past Commodore 2010,USCG Captain, 100gt, S/V "Ruby"

August 6, 2013 by Abby
Sailstice Tales, News

Prize: Bainbridge crew bag!

This nice note came in from Greg who is excited for his crew bag from Bainbridge!  I love hearing the stories of all the ways people get out ln the water! 


July 31, 2013 by Abby