Creating our own good news about sailing

Published on June 17th, 2014

In celebration of the 14th annual Summer Sailstice, a worldwide celebration of sailing happening on June 21, participants now include a fascinating mix of sailing vessels including tall ships such as the 134’ steel brigantine SSV Corwith Cramer currently sailing mid-Atlantic, 15’ West Wight Potters gathering on Mission Bay in San Diego to grand prix racers crossing the Gulf Stream in the Newport Bermuda Race.

“When one looks at the events and individual sailing plans posted on the Summer Sailstice website, you get a much different perspective on the world of sailing than the one so often portrayed in the media,” says event founder John Arndt. “The America’s Cup was fantastic and captured the public’s attention but, as it dominated the 2013 sailing news, it may have continued the misperception that sailing is just for the wealthy. Summer Sailstice wants to change this image by showcasing and celebrating everyone’s participation, however, whatever and wherever you sail.”

Uniting the diverse world of sailing in a shared celebration has already been a 14-year mission of Arndt’s. “Beyond the fun of knowing that Clipper racers crossing the Atlantic and Thistle sailors on a Midwest lake are all sailing ‘together’ that giving the public a more representative view of sailing is a critical goal,” observes Arndt.

In launching Summer Sailstice, Arndt gained inspiration from a popular local newscaster, ‘Scoop’ Nisker. “He used to close all his news broadcast with the line, ‘If you don’t like the news today, go out and make some of your own.’ For me, getting the whole world sailing at the beginning of summer on the weekend closest to the solstice just seemed like a great way for all sailors to create our own good news about sailing. By all sailing ‘together’ we could do something good for sailing and, with contributions to our ocean conservation partner Sailors for the Sea, also do something good for the oceans,” explained Arndt.

“If you’ve got June 21/22 sailing plans, it’s important that you post them,” says Stan Honey, America’s Cup Emmy Award winner, round-the-world record holder and who, with his wife Sally, will spend Summer Sailstice weekend preparing their Cal 40 getting ready to sail down the coast to the Channel Island, “If we don’t step up and offer an alternative view to the common misperception of sailing then we have no one to blame but ourselves.”

The 2014 Summer Sailstice is June 21. Find an event near you on the event website, or be the spark and organize an event yourself. You can win prizes by entering one of the many drawings, and by adding your sailing plans, you could win a Caribbean charter or any of dozens of other prizes.
Click here for details.

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