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Blown Away by Summer Sailstice

Charlie Watt’s Antrim 27 Head Rush gets all lit up during the breezy YRA Sailstice race.

© Erik Simonson

Whether they were on the Bay with reefs tucked in, or elsewhere around the world under full sail, sailors the world over hoisted their cloth on Saturday to celebrate the 10th annual Summer Sailstice. With a 13-hour head start over those of us on the West Coast, the likely winners of the ‘first to sail’ honors for this global celebration of sailing started their sunrise sail at longitude 120°E on Lake Diashan in Shanghai, China.

The first Summer Sailstice sail happened at sunrise on Lake Diashan China!

© 2010 Alistair Skinner

Later in the day, the Bay tossed up traditional summer fare with sailors blown away by 25-35 knots of gusty central Bay breezes that tested the crews of boats racing in both the OCSC Perpetual Trophy and in the YRA’s Summer Sailstice race. Those that sought more clement conditions found some shelter from the breeze in Clipper Cove with its easy access to the Summer Sailstice festival ashore on Treasure Island.

Some of the crowd watch the participants in the boatbuilding contest go for the gold.

© 2010 Sergei Zavarin

One of the hallmark events of the Treasure Island festival is the annual boat building contest which attracted five teams for a day-long boatbuilding competition sponsored by WoodenBoat Magazine, Berkeley Marine Center and MAS Epoxies. All five boats were launched at 5 p.m. and all floated — even with crew aboard! Everyone apprehensively headed out on a frothy Clipper Cove in breeze up to 30 knots for a race around a mark and back that ended with a photo finish. After the votes from all competitors were tallied, Berkeley Marine Center took the top honors, closely followed by Team Hutchinson Marine Services.

After hours of litigation, this catamaran was declared a viable challenger for the 10th Summer Sailstice one-day boat building contest.

© 2010 Sergei Zavarin

On the docks hundreds of sailboat rides, organized by Club Nautique and Tradewinds Sailing Center, were given to Bay residents who came to check out the sailing scene. They were treated to rides that rivaled a day at an amusement park, with their $5 donations going to support Treasure Island Sailing Center’s community sailing programs. While ashore, sailors were entertained by Pacific Island dancers, some sea chanteys, and rock ‘n roll by ‘Bowjones’ with drummer Mike Tosse.

Pacific Island dancers added to the festive atmosphere at Treasure Island’s Clipper Cove.

© Sergei Zavarin

With today being the actual solstice, Summer Sailstice continues through midnight tonight when entries close for all those who managed to sail in the past three days. If you did sail but haven’t signed up, get in on the prize drawing by registering at www.summersailstice.com

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