Summer Sailstice preparations are under way

US Sailing is inviting people to sail “together” for the 15th annual worldwide Summer Sailstice celebration of sailing.
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US Sailing is inviting people to sail “together” for the 15th annual worldwide Summer Sailstice celebration of sailing.

For current sailors, this means starting their summer of sailing by hoisting sails on the summer solstice weekend of June 20-21. For non-sailors, it’s an invitation to connect with sailing at one of the thousands of sailing programs and facilities that are open and available to the public on US Sailing’s “Where to Sail” online directory.

The Summer Sailstice website again plays host by allowing participants to RSVP and post their weekend sailing event or plans to capture a weekend in the life of sailing.

“We really want to make people aware of just how accessible sailing is,” US Sailing training director Stu Gilfillen said in a statement. “With over 50 percent of the U.S. population living within 50 miles of the coastal sailing facilities and the vast majority of the balance of the population living within 50 miles of a freshwater sailing venue, it’s much easier to get on the water than most people think.”

Although sailing seasons vary from the far north of Maine and Alaska to the far south in Florida, Texas and California, the summer solstice weekend works out to be an ideal time celebrate all aspects of sailing. School’s out and the peak summer sailing season is about to begin with summer camps, community sailing programs, yacht clubs, cruising clubs and numerous other sailing entities opening their doors to both new and experienced sailors.

“I grew up a New England sailor, and one of the best things about starting Summer Sailstice is discovering all the different places and types of sailing people do across the U.S. and, in fact, around the world,” Summer Sailstice founder John Arndt said.

“Did you know there are 40-foot cruising sailboats sailing in North Dakota on Lake Sakakawea, the second-largest man-made lake in the U.S.? There’s 40-foot cruising boats sailing on Lake Texoma in Texas, too. There is also lots of sailing a mile in the sky in lakes such as Lake Dillon in Colorado, Lake Tahoe in California and Jackson Lake in Wyoming. Of course, the U.S. is home to the ‘fresh coast’ of the Great Lakes, too — the largest lakes in the world. There’s literally sailing almost everywhere. Even without water, there is 60-mph dry-land sailing on wheels in the salt flats of Nevada.”

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