In the face of a tough economy, Summer Sailstice, the annual sailing holiday on the summer solstice weekend takes place June 20-21. Organizers expect record participation as people sail away their cares and show support for ocean conservation.
"This year people want to unplug and get away from it all," said Sailstice founder John Arndt at the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show taking place in Oakland, California, this week. "We expect record participation in Sailstice 2009. The holiday's parties, imaginative events, and environmental goals emphasize the relaxing and accessible nature of sailing. School's out, and nothing's better than grabbing cool drinks, a picnic lunch, and enjoying the water with friends and family on the longest day of the year. Sailstice helps everyone focus on simple, low-cost ways to enjoy sailing compared to other summer pastimes."
Summer Sailstice 2009 will be celebrated by more than 12,000 sailors worldwide, with hundreds more potential sailors or friends and family participating in a related event. Sailors have registered to participate from all 50 states and 20 countries. The 50th state, North Dakota, joined in last year as a group of six boats organized a cruise and raft-up on Lake Sakakawea.
Every sort of sailing craft participates, from windsurfers and kite boards, to tall ships and multihulls. With 70 percent of the world's population less than 50 miles from a shoreline, potential future participation could reach millions.
Founded as a way to unite the diverse and dispersed community of sailors locally and globally, Summer Sailstice is structured so any sailor can participate regardless of what or where they sail. Sailors register on the Summer Sailstice Web site to tell others about their weekend sailing plans, find or create events in their local areas, and become eligible to win one of more than 300 sailing prizes including a one-week Moorings charter in the BVI.