Organizers of Summer Sailstice, the annual sailing holiday on the summer solstice, expect record participation this year as people look to sail away from troubles in a down economy and show their support for ocean conservation.
"This year people want to unplug and get away from it all," Sailstice founder John Arndt said in a statement. "The holiday's parties, imaginative events and environmental goals emphasize the relaxing and accessible nature of sailing.
"Sailstice helps everyone focus on simple, low-cost ways to enjoy sailing compared to other summer pastimes," he added.
Summer Sailstice 2009 will be celebrated June 20-21 by more than 12,000 sailors worldwide. Sailors have registered to participate from all 50 states and 20 countries. Every sort of sailing craft participates, from windsurfers and kite boards, to tall ships and multihulls.
This year, Summer Sailstice is working with the conservation group Sailors for the Sea to support its Around the Americas adventure. Participants can pledge funds for every mile sailed during the Summer Sailstice weekend. The goal is reach a combined 25,000 miles, equivalent to a circumnavigation of North and South America.