Sailing into a new season

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Although we’ve just turned the corner into spring, a unique community of sailors wants others to know it’s not too late to start thinking about the prime boating season – summer.

Boaters all over the world are invited to celebrate in Summer Sailstice, the eighth annual global celebration of sailing, according to a recent press release. The event, which is held on the summer solstice of June 21-22, serves to unite thousands of sailing and boating enthusiasts by creating an online network where people can easily register for the event online and thus become a member of a community. Members can then find one another and create opportunities to do what they love best, according to the Web site (www.summersailstice.com).

The event was founded in 2001 by John Arndt, the advertising manager at Latitude 38, a West Coast sailing magazine in Mill Valley, Calif. Having learned how to sail from his parents, Arndt wanted an event where everyone could share their passions for the type of boating they were interested in.He currently owns a 1974 Ranger 33 that he sails with his wife, Leslie, and two daughters.

This year’s Sailstice is organized with Ocean Conservancy as a charitable partner, and each boater that signs up for the event can make the option of pledging $1 or more per mile sailed on the solstice in order to help preserve the world’s oceans, according to the press release. Plus, everyone that signs up becomes eligible to win one of more than 300 prizes from the event sponsors, such as a self-inflating PFD, a kayak, and sailing gear.

- Elizabeth Ellis