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Summer Sailstice This Weekend

Dinghy racing in Clipper Cove is one of many festivities planned for Treasure Island’s Summer Sailstice celebration this weekend.

Summer Sailstice
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Where will you be hoisting your sails this weekend? San Francisco Bay? The Solent? The Great Lakes? Shanghai? Or perhaps just a small local lake or river. Wherever it is, you’ll be part of Summer Sailstice, a growing international sailing holiday celebrated on the weekend nearest the summer solstice — the official beginning of summer. Given the eclectic nature of boats and sailors, it’s hard to get everyone together for one big sailing party. However, under the banner of “Sail locally, celebrate globally,” Summer Sailstice offers sailors all over the world a way to ‘connect’ on a day dedicated to our sport.

As mentioned, this year’s celebration is Saturday and Sunday, June 21/22 (the official solstice is on Friday). This is the eighth annual edition of Summer Sailstice, an event whose tap root is firmly anchored in the Bay. Although all local sailors have to do to take part is to go sailing sometime over the weekend, the central focus of Bay Area Sailstice activities for the last three years has been Treasure Island — our own ‘exotic Pacific isle’. This year, the ever-growing program — based at the Treasure Isle Marina — will feature live music (12:30 to 8 p.m.), new boat displays, a boatbuilding contest, a Coast Guard helicopter rescue demonstration, an on-the-Bay photo scavenger hunt, dinghy racing in Clipper Cove and ODCA/HDA racing with the YRA. Racers and cruisers are invited to cruise in, anchor out and maybe raft up — perhaps even spend the night in Clipper Cove, one of the Bay’s largest and most protected anchorages. Admission is free to the shoreside festivities, with a portion of concession revenues going to benefit the Treasure Island Sailing Center’s community sailing programs. For more on the San Francisco event visit www.summersailstice.com/sf.

If you’re reading this far away from San Francisco Bay, visit www.summersailstice.com anyway. Chances are good that you may find an organized event near to wherever you might be. At the very least,  join the sign-up sheet which is already 3,000 boats strong. Not only will you let the world know where and how you’ll be celebrating, you’ll have a chance to win one of more than 300 prizes — just for going sailing! These include everything from shirts and caps to a weeklong BVI charter aboard a 40-ft Moorings sloop.

When you figure time zones into the mix, the ‘opening ceremony’ of Summer Sailstice looks like it’s going to be a sunrise sail out of China’s Shanghai Boat & Yacht Club. San Francisco (and the rest of the West Coast) are looking to be the grand finale. In between, there will be lots of sails raised to enjoy the longest weekend of the year and the start of the summer sailing season. (Visualize a global version of football fans doing ‘the wave’ all the way around the stadium.)

We hope yours will be among them!

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Local PBS station KQED (Channel 9) will be airing Deep Water tonight at 10:30 p.m.