What is Summer Sailstice Really About?

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September 1, 2017 by Monica Grant

We all know sailing is fun, and we all love to talk about our sailing adventures, but even better than talking about sailing, is sharing the joy, exhilaration, and beauty that we find out on the water. And this is what Summer Sailstice is all about. 

Each year we strive to promote, share and grow sailing across the globe. Whether on the ocean, on lakes, or in rivers and bays we encourage sailors to get out on the water, and encourage anyone who thinks there’s even a remote chance they would enjoy sailing to give it a try. As you can imagine this is a big job, and fortunately we have a huge network of support from not only our Summer Sailstice Sponsors, Prize Donors and Partners, but also from you, the people on the boats, on the docks and in the marinas, and in yacht clubs, sailing clubs and sailing organizations world wide. 

Before and after every Summer Sailstice weekend we invite you to share your plans to join fellow sailors, friends and family out on the water in celebration of sailing. And every year we are ecstatic about the level of commitment we see from sailors and organizations who open their clubs and their boats to welcome new and prospective sailors aboard. We’d like to share some of these stories with you.

Keyport Yacht Club in New Jersey hosted their first Summer Sailstice Open House. The town of Keyport got behind the event and showed their appreciation by giving the event the official name "Keyport Yacht Club Day”. The public was invited to join club members for a day of learning and fun with more than 89 visitors benefiting from club members’ knowledge and experience in activities such as 'Introduction to Sailing', 'Adult Sailing Lessons', 'Kids Sailing School', 'Sailboat Racing', and ‘Tours' of the club's fleet. They even demonstrated how Oysters can clean the waters!

Keyport Yacht Club Banner

Together with members of North Flathead Yacht Club (NFYC), the South Flathead Yacht Club (SFYC) in Montana celebrated Summer Sailstice by taking new and prospective sailors out on the lake for an afternoon of fun and instruction. NFYC member, Reggie Good, raced across the lake on Saturday, and on Sunday he joined SFYC members in conducting 'Introduction to Sailing classes' and ‘on the water’ instruction. Reggie declared the event a success, as more than half the people he welcomed aboard came back to sail another day. As a member of U.S. Sailing, SFYC provides learning opportunities, social events, a racing program, youth sailing opportunities, and a warm welcome for new sailors.

North Flathead Yacht Club

Meanwhile on another lake in Montana, Fort Peck Sailing Club (FPSC) hosted their own Summer Sailstice event, carrying boatloads of new sailors across the water for fun and learning. The four-year-old club has embraced Summer Sailstice as an annual event during which they “educate the community about sailing”, while helping to grow their membership. FPSC commodore, Rafe Sigmundstad said that since the Summer Sailstice event seven families have joined their club. 

Fort Peck Yacht Club

Half Moon Bay Yacht Club, CA celebrated their first Summer Sailstice event with sailboat rides for new comers, hands-on boat maintenance and repair, knot tying practice, and celestial navigation with sextant demonstrations.

Half Moon Bay Yacht Club

George from Lake Perry, Kansas, celebrated by introducing a variety of guests to the “magic of sailing!

Alameda Community Sailing Center (ACSC) invited the public to join them for an OPEN SAIL Day. 

New England Science & Sailing (NESS) Foundation celebrated the Sailstice with their fifth annual NESS Fest event in Stonington. The foundation invited the public to join in for a day of free activities including sailing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. 


Harraseeket Yacht Club, ME, hosted a free “Introduction to Racing” seminar for sailors who wanted to learn to race in the cruising class. 

Twin Cities Saililng Club, on Lake Harriet, MN, celebrated with  free sailboat rides along with information about sailing, the club, and other sailing organizations in the Twin Cities area. 

Encinal Yacht Club, in Northern California, hosted their annual celebration with a range of events including Sailboat rides, equipment demonstrations, informative seminars contests and more. This year’s event attracted dozens of registered participants, and that was even before they opened their doors! In total the club's Sailsitce celebration attracted around 1,500 people from which they recruited six new members! 

Encinal Yacht Club

Saratoga Lake Sailing Club, NY, introduced new comers to the sport with ‘free sails’. Guests were invited to sit back and enjoy the ride, or take a turn at the helm under the guidance of an experienced sailor.

Shoreline Lake, CA, hosted free sailboat rides across the Sailstice weekend together with demonstrations, and a purchasable ‘Picnic Basket+Sailing package’. The package included a free 30-minute introductory sailing lesson.

Shoreline Lake

OCC School of Sailing & Seamanship hosted their annual Sailstice ‘Discover Sailing’ event at Newport Beach, CA. Visitors enjoyed free sails with an instructor, and were invited to sign-up for a chance to win a Free-Class Scholarship.

Sail Peoria hosted their 2nd annual Summer Sailstice at the EastPort Marina, IL. Their goal was to introduce and educate the public about the exciting sport of sailing with “demo sails” and information about sailing, lessons, and cruises. Participants also had the chance to win a Sunset Cruise!  

Stonington Harbor Yacht Club, CT, invited women of all levels of sailing experience to join them aboard their fleet of Ideal 18s for an afternoon of sailing around the harbor and neighboring Fishers Island Sound.

Windworks Sailing and Powerboating in Seattle celebrated Summer Sailstice with a Flotilla, open to anyone who wanted to go along whether they had sailing experience or not!

Club members at Yaquina Bay Yacht Club, Oregon, welcomed newcomers aboard for free hour-long sails, as part of the club’s Open House. Guests were then welcome to while away the rest of the day in the company of sailors, with food, drinks and music.

Maritime Yacht Club and Manitowoc Marina, Wisconsin, provided a great opportunity for people to learn about sailing by getting out on the water with club members, followed with socializing and the possibility of a sunset sail and bonfire.

These are by no means all of the great sailing celebrations and events that occurred on June 24/25, in fact we've barely made a dent in the list. Thank you, each and every one of you who sailed, who shared your knowledge or your boat, or both, and those of you who stayed ashore to man the booths, usher guests, cook hotdogs and burgers, and everything and anything else that was required to ensure a successful celebration. 

As sailors, we already know about the joy, exhilaration and beauty of being out on the water. And each year we are encouraged by the enthusiasm of sailors everywhere who share their adventures with those not yet ‘in the know’, inviting them to discover just what it is about sailing that keeps us all afloat, and why when we’re not actually sailing, we’re usually talking about sailing.

This is Summer Sailstice!


Sign ups for 2018 are now open. Remember, you need to log back in each year to remain active and be eligible for prizes.


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