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Celebrate Sailing

Tomorrow’s summer solstice (June 21) marks the official start to summer and, for most people around the world, the start of the most active sailing season. Yes, California is a little different. A 12-month season and foggy, cool, breezy days on the Bay mean some prefer other times of year. Many never stop. But summer has more daylight, lighter work schedules and school vacations, making it an ideal time for more sailing.

Grab some friends, hoist the sails, have a laugh. What better way to spend a weekend in the Bay Area? Or anywhere?

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This weekend also marks the 18th annual Summer Sailstice celebration of sailing. Individuals and organizations up and down the coast and across the country start the summer by signing up and sharing where and how they plan to sail this weekend, while also having a shot at prizes supplied by marine industry favorites.

Are your upcoming weekend sailing plans on the map? 

Summer Sailstice
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The Bay Area hosts a dozen or so events, including an all-day celebration at Encinal Yacht Club, inviting sailors to arrive by sailboat or come over after their Saturday sail. The EYC event in Alameda includes small-boat racing, all-day entertainment, free sailboat rides for the uninitiated, and Gosling’s Dark ‘N Stormies. Check out other Bay Area events here.

Contestants in the cardboard boatbuilding contest build, launch, and race their boats as part of the day’s activities.

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The simple but audacious idea is to have the whole world signed up and sailing on the first summer weekend. If not sailing now, when? Sure, some think that a wedding or graduation is an acceptable alternative, but, really, these don’t take all weekend, and, after all, there are only so many summer weekends. If you’re racing to Half Moon Bay this weekend with the OYRA or setting off on the 2018 Singlehanded TransPac you can share your sailing story as part of Summer Sailstice. 

Beyond uniting the sailing world, one purpose of Summer Sailstice is myth busting. Really, we’re not all Larry Ellison. You can argue that sailing is expensive, but the vast majority of sailors don’t even own a sailboat — they crew. Most sailboats are under 20 feet. Most sailors probably started on something like a Sunfish, and, for many, that’s all they want. If you take friends sailing this weekend they may decide it’s expensive — for you but not for them! Sailing is one of the very best reasons to live near the water, and Summer Sailstice helps us share it with our shorebound friends. 

One owner, lots of crew. Sailing’s actually amazingly affordable for most sailors. Not as true for big boat owners!

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The Bay Area weekend forecast looks ideal; the sun sets at 8:35; and thousands of sailboats are tugging at their docklines, calling out for a sail. There’s also the walk-the-dock-and-take-a- tour option offered by the Master Mariners’ annual Wooden Boat Show at Corinthian YC in Tiburon on Sunday, June 24. Head down and soak in the beauty and inspiration of sailing.

Be inspired by the cutter Water Witch, on display at the Master Mariners Wooden Boat show. 

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This weekend, no sail should remain furled. See you on the water.

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Anyone know what boat this might be? A mystery boat in need of an expert eye to identify her.
"I’ve been intrigued with singlehanded distance races since reading about Chichester winning the first modern-day Transatlantic race in 1960," says John Colby of Portland, Oregon.