by Ken Quant
It's on again. This year, the world-wide Summer Sailstice celebration of sailing will be celebrated on the Summer Solstice itself, June 21st, giving all sailors out on the water the absolute maximum time to sail in daylight. Now in its 14th year, the event is becoming a tradition for sailors annually, across the globe.
Summer Sailstice encourages all sailors, from the recreational to the professional, to sign up at www.summersailstice.com, a social network where they can share their individual sailing plans, recruit crew, post stories and create Summer Sailstice events, be they with their yacht club, fellow sailors or sailing association. All sailors, regardless of vessel or location, are encouraged to sail ‘together’ wherever they happen to be on the planet - although being in the northern hemisphere would be a plus.
In addition, by registering to participate each year, Summer Sailstice celebrants become eligible to win prizes supplied by over 400 sailing industry supporters including Footloose, Hobie, Offshore Sailing, West Marine, Boat U.S., Harken, Lewmar, and numerous other respected marine suppliers. The prize list is topped by a $5,000 certificate towards a BVI charter with Footloose Charters. Winners are selected by a random drawing in early July 2014.
'June is an ideal time to celebrate since school is out, the days get long, the peak sailing season is ahead while the solstice connects sailors to celestial cycles which have guided sailors for centuries. We’re creating a new tradition connecting sailors and helping the non-sailing world discover the who, how, where and why of sailing.' says event founder John Arndt.
A new Summer Sailstice platform was launched in the spring of 2013 with new event management tools giving participants better ways to promote their local Summer Sailstice events. Organizations such as community sailing centers and sailing schools can use the event tools to post an open house to invite the public to connect to sailing during the global celebration.
By collaborating, all sailing organizations are able to leverage the event for mutual advantage. Orange Coast College in Newport Beach, California, for example, attracted over 200 new sailors by hosting their 2013 Summer Sailstice open house.
To date most Summer Sailstice supporters have hailed from the United States but, over the years, sailors have joined the event from 47 countries. In 2013, Summer Sailstice added sailors from Israel, South Africa, the Marshall Islands, Greece and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, confirming that by sailing and celebrating together, sailors worldwide have an opportunity to connect with each other each year on the solstice and showcasing the joy of being out on the water wherever they sail.
Summer Sailstice also actively supports the health of our oceans. All sailors participating in Summer Sailstice are encouraged to pledge funds to our environmental partner, Sailors for the Sea, for every mile sailed on Summer Sailstice.
To learn more about Summer Sailstice, visit www.summersailstice.com.