Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville (the United States-based casual dining American restaurant chain) is offering new rewards to sailors ‘strutting their sailing stuff’ while challenging traditional sailing stereotypes.
Summer Sailstice - it gets bigger every year
Margaritaville is adding prizes and outreach for the wide range of individuals and organizations posting their events on www.summersailstice.com in celebration of the 14th annual event happening on June 21st.
Summer Sailstice participants now include a fascinating mix of sailing vessels including tall ships such as the 134’ steel brigantine SSV Corwith Cramer currently sailing mid-Atlantic, 15’ West Wight Potters gathering on Mission Bay in San Diego to grand prix racers crossing the Gulf Stream in the Newport Bermuda Race.
Events are being organized around the Sailstice all over the world with many organizations from sailing schools to yacht clubs hosting open houses such as Orange Coast College in Newport Beach, CA.
‘When one looks at the events and individual sailing plans posted on the Summer Sailstice website you get a much different perspective on the world of sailing than the one so often portrayed in the media,’ says event founder John Arndt. ‘The America’s Cup was fantastic and captured the public’s attention but, as it dominated the 2013 sailing news, it may have continued the misperception that sailing is just for the wealthy. Summer Sailstice wants to change this image by showcasing and celebrating everyone’s participation, however, whatever and wherever you sail.’
Uniting the diverse world of sailing in a shared celebration has already been a 14-year mission of Arndt’s. He says, ‘beyond the fun of knowing that Clipper racers crossing the Atlantic and Thistle sailors on a Midwest lake are all sailing ‘together’ that giving the public a more representative view of sailing is a critical goal.’
‘One piece of inspiration for me was a popular newscaster on our local KFOG radio station, ‘Scoop’ Nisker who used to close all his news broadcast with the line, ‘If you don't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.’ For me, getting the whole world sailing at the beginning of summer on the weekend closest to the solstice just seemed like a great way for all sailors to create our own good news about sailing. By all sailing ‘together’ we could do something good for sailing and, with contributions to our ocean conservation partner Sailors for the Sea, also do something good for the oceans.’
Summer Sailstice has enlisted a diverse array of sailing industry supporters to add engagement in the event online with prizes contributed for the Summer Sailstice annual prize drawing by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, numerous marine organizations including Footloose Yacht Charters, West Marine, Jeanneau, North Sails, US Sailing, Maine Windjammers and many others.
They’ve all ‘sweetened the pot’ for Summer Sailstice participants who sign up, hoist their sails and venture out onto the water on the summer solstice.
With a rich collection of prizes from a $5,000 BVI charter certificate to the Margaritaville® Explorer™ Cordless Frozen Concoction Maker® to always useful winch handles from Schaefer Marine or the Deckvest Lite from Spinlock, over 400 donations are displayed on the Summer Sailstice website for the drawing to be held in late June.
‘If you’ve got June 21/22 sailing plans it’s important that you post them.’ says Stan Honey, Cal 40 owner, America’s Cup Emmy Award winner and round-the-world record holder, ‘If we don’t step up and offer an alternative view to the common misperception of sailing then we have no one to blame but ourselves.’
Every year Summer Sailstice continues to put more wind in its sails and 2014 is no exception. While still somewhat dominated by participants from North America there are hundreds sailing events and individual sailing plans posted on the site from locations literally across the planet. For more information and to see a map of Summer Sailstice event locations, please visit www.summersailstice.com.