Lucky Lake Michigan Wins Again!

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October 6, 2015 by Monica Grant

You may recall our story from a few weeks ago about Terry and Allison Canade from the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club in Wilmette, IL, who won this year’s Summer Sailstice Grand Prize, a one week BVI charter from Sunsail. Well, there must be something in the water at Lake Michigan, as the same yacht club also boasts prize winners Kristin and Dave Keenan who won a Halyard from New England Ropes. However, Kristin and Dave are extra excited, as New England Ropes provided them with not only a new Halyard, but two new main sheets as well!

“Knowing that our extra tall mast would be a lot of halyard, we suggested to Kevin to just send us some traveler sheets instead (way less line involved),” Kristin explained. “Even after sending him the make and model of our boat, Kevin insisted on sending the halyard and he threw in the sheets too!”

“That over the top customer care will keep us coming back to New England Ropes company for all our rigging needs,” Kristin added.

However despite being excited to re-rig their boat, the Keenans are waiting just a few more weeks for the summer sailing season to end before taking down their mast during the off-season. Meanwhile they are fitting in as many sails as they can in the lead up to winter. 

Prior to this year’s Summer Sailstice, Kristin and Dave sailed among the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club’s 15-strong Dolphin fleet, which Kristin said is the only remaining Dolphin fleet in the world. In 2014 the couple rallied their fellow Dolphin sailors to join them in celebrating their first Summer Sailstice. (You may recall from the Sunsail winners that the club’s celebrations that year were hampered, though not defeated, by a severe thunder storm.)

“As a fleet captain, I thought the Sailstice was a wonderful opportunity to get non-racers/spouses out on the water and to bond as a fleet. We emphasized visiting the Sailstice website to the fleet beforehand - to check out what everyone else was doing - and that it was a GLOBAL event (the best part I think).”

Now a part of the club’s Cruising fleet, the Keenans were set to again celebrate Summer Sailstice with their fellow sailors, this time aboard their new boat, a 36’ Sabre Spirit which they had bought to replace their much loved Dolphin. They took delivery on June19, just in time for the big day. However, as I’m sure all sailors know, the best laid plans don’t always fit with what the sailing-Gods have in mind.

“The plan was to sail down on the 20th and arrive in time for the Sailstice festivities. But as Neptune would have it, on the 20th, we experienced engine problems, no wind, too much wind, rain, lightening, all on our sail down. What should have taken three hours took over six,” Kristin said.

Fortunately Summer Sailstice is celebrated during the longest days of the year, and cheered on by the rest of the Dolphin and Cruising fleets already assembled on the deck, Kristin and Dave finally arrived at Wilmette Harbor to enjoy the rest of the day basking in the company of their good friends and of course, champagne.

“It was, oddly, a really neat way to spend the Sailstice... dealing with Mother Nature with just some of what she can throw at you -  knowing that it was nothing compared to what other sailors have had to endure.”

Despite Neptune and Mother Nature's best efforts, Kristin and Dave are already looking forward to participating in next year's Summer Sailstice, and to spending the sailing season racing with their new halyard and sheets! Luckily when Kristin first discovered the Summer Sailstice website early in 2014 she realized, “…it was so user friendly, with no sign up fees, etc. - just a free flowing place with a great idea for everyone around the world to share their love of sailing. The site is an incredible vehicle for clubs and groups to advertise their event.” 

“The Sailstice is one day that you can get out on the water and know that people all over the world are doing the same, for the same reason. It is a day to just use your boat, don't have to race it, or go far, but just join in with the global nautical community. When it seems sailing in general is down across the country - this event generates hope and excitement. I have lost many hours over the last two years on the Sailstice site reading all about what other clubs and sailors are doing.”

Well, that’s a great endorsement Kristin, thank you very much. 

We want to make sailing a global phenomena accessible to everyone, and with the passionate involvement of sailors like you, and your club, and with the support of our Summer Sailstice sponsors and prize donors, we just may get there! So keep on sailing and keep sharing the joy.

A special thanks to Kevin and New England Ropes for their ongoing support for sailing and for Summer Sailstice, and particularly in this case for going the extra mile for prize winners, Kristin and Dave.




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