With this weekend’s Summer Sailstice events now just a few days away, volunteers at Encinal YC are busy making preparations. Mike Scheck, a past club president, explains why he and other members are so enthusiastic about being ‘Sailstice Central’ for the third year in a row: "It’s a great fit for EYC, because many of our goals align with those of Summer Sailstice: promoting the sport of sailing, introducing the sport to the general public, a focus on youth, and support for on-the-water nonprofits."
For the uninitiated, Summer Sailstice (the brainchild of Latitude 38 Associate Publisher John Arndt) is defined as a "worldwide celebration of sailing" that takes place on the weekend closest to the annual summer solstice — the ‘longest’ day of the year in terms of daylight hours. Individuals, YCs, sailing clubs, waterside resorts and other facilities are invited to create whatever means of celebrating that they can come up with, from simply going out sailing, to orchestrating giant circular raft-ups, to hosting elaborate shindigs like Encinal’s. (And if you register online you can win valuable prizes.)
"We make sure that there is something for everyone," says Scheck. "From experienced racers/cruisers to people who are interested in learning about the sport, they’ll find free boat rides, sailing exhibits, sailing seminars and boat displays." Needless to say, any and all are welcome to attend. There’s plenty of free parking, and boat-in attendees are welcome to tie up at EYC’s guest docks — and even stay overnight if they choose to.
"We will have many boats on display, ranging from Millimeters to big cats," Scheck adds. "Sailing schools, charter clubs and boat brokers will all be on hand to discuss a variety of entry points into the sport. Most importantly, we want to show that you don’t need to be a millionaire to get into sailing." That said, guest speaker Tom Ehman, vice commodore of Golden Gate YC, will give his insights into the highest echelons of the sport, as he discusses the imminent Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup races.
Now in its 13th year, Summer Sailstice has grown from a vague idea into a widely recognized focal point for celebrating the sport we all love. So we suggest you put off the yard work and mall mashing this weekend, and get out on the water instead!
Related Addendum: Loaner Lasers needed! A couple of sailors from Artemis Racing have shown interest in competing in this weekends resurrection of the Sir Francis Chichester Race for Lasers around Alameda. It’s been 18 years since it was last run with a record set of 2 hours and 43 min set by Morgan Larson (unconfirmed). Follow the links from www.summersailstice.com/sf for the NOR if you want to race your own Laser or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a Laser to loan Artemis.
In the wee hours of March 4, three people eased the $2.8-million Oyster 82 Darling out of her slip at Sausalito Yacht Harbor and sailed her as far as Pacifica before grounding her on Linda Mar Beach. John Furth, the owner of the boat, turned on the morning news only to see his beauty being bashed by the surf. He immediately called the police.
The ‘captain’ and two crew were rescued and taken into custody for stealing the stricken boat. Two days later, the two crewmembers were released after investigators concluded they were allegedly duped into believing the captain, 63-year-old Leslie Alan Gardner, had inherited Darling. It’s been over three months and Gardner is still sticking to his story, and attorneys on both sides of the case against him agree that he truly believes it.
The Chronicle ran a fascinating piece by Vivian Ho in today’s edition about Gardner and his apparent delusions. Ho interviewed the accused boat thief twice in the medical ward of the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City, and noted how different he behaved during each session. In the first, she described him as lucid, but in the second she said he was "rambling."
Ho reports that two doctors have cleared Gardner as competent to stand trial, but that neither side believes he’s all there mentally. His family and attorney claim that post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the Vietnam War led to decades of substance and alcohol abuse. In 2006, he lost a leg to a drunken motorcycle accident, after which he admits to Ho that he became hooked on painkillers. But it wasn’t until he accidentally killed his oldest son two years ago — the brakes in his van failed and the son was run over — that his family says he broke with reality.
Regardless of what Gardner believes, the justice system — and the boat’s true owner — believe differently. He is set to appear at a preliminary hearing on June 27 to determine if he will stand trial for multiple felonies, including grand theft, possession of a stolen boat and vandalism.
Heads up for those in SoCal that reservations made on the SDHPD mooring online reservation system for the A-1/La Playa Anchorage for July 4-8 are no longer valid and that space will be on a first-come, first-served basis, according to a special notice from the Port of San Diego. "With a sponsorship from the San Diego Port Tenants Association, the La Playa Cove Anchorage will once again be expanded for the 4th of July weekend, and permits will not be needed. The special anchorage will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Vessels attempting to enter before that time will be turned away. The anchorage will close at sunset on Sunday, July 7, 2013 with no exceptions. Normal weekend permits will be required again the following weekend."