Summer Sailstice 2007 Joins Together Thousands of Sailors
From Indianapolis to Antigua, from San Diego to Maine, thousands of sailors kicked off their sailing season on June 23-24, 2007 with a weekend Summer Sailstice celebration. Founded in 2001 by Sail America member John Arndt, Summer Sailstice is the annual global celebration of sailing held on the summer sailstice.
Over 300 winners of sailing prizes donated by more than 60 companies were selected. Cecile Anne Witt was one of the big winners who spent this year’s Summer Sailstice in Antigua, courtesy of the American Sailing Association and Sunsail.
Among the varied 2007 Summer Sailstice celebrations:
- In Southeast Georgia, a group of sailors who build their boats at home met at Hart State Park and exemplified the true Summer Sailstice spirit by beginning their festivities on Thursday, the actual solstice. They sailed on Lake Hartwell, where they reconnected “with their pirate roots,” complete with mock pirate battles and miniature cannons!
- The Cortez Yacht Club, at the mouth of Tampa Bay on the West Coast of Florida held two raft-ups and a “just for fun” sailboat race in the Gulf of Mexico outside Longboat Pass. The event will become a Sarasota Bay Yachting Association Boat of the Year Regatta on Sailstice 2008 sponsored by the Cortez Yacht Club.
- In Hawaii, the Holopuni OC-3 three-person outrigger canoes joined Summer Sailstice, celebrating in their three-person 30’ Hawaiian outrigger canoes. (Founder Nick Beck of Hawaii , created the original three-man outrigger canoe “Holopuni”, meaning “to sail everywhere,” in 1981 to explore the coastal regions of each Hawaiian island.)
- The Sierra Nevada Community Sailing Program provided an afternoon of free sailing rides to celebrate the sailstice.
- The Treasure Island Sailing Center in the San Francisco Bay area celebrated with races, scavenger hunts, parties and a treasure hunt.
The annual Summer Sailstice sailing event is free to all participants and has grown from 200 boats signed up in 2001 to well over 2,000 boats today. Since many sailors who join in the fun on boats signed up at http://www.summersailstice.com//, the actual number of Summer Sailstice sailors is estimated at 5,000 to 6,000 annually. Sailors are invited to post their Summer Sailstice tales and photos on the website.
Click on the Summer Sailstice website to enjoy a clearance sale of remaining 2007 inventory of shirts, hats and burgees to show your support for sailing worldwide all year.
Sailors are invited to put your Summer Sailstice celebration on the calendar now for the weekend of June 21-22, 2008. Summer Sailstice founder John Arndt suggests that you include Friday the 20th to make a three-day Summer Sailstice weekend holiday out of it!