What If All Sailors Went Sailing on the Same Day?

Choose the Sailing Saturday With the Most Daylight Hours

“What would it look like if you and all the sailboats in your marina, club, or one-design fleet all went sailing on the same day? It would be bedlam on the Bay—and lots of fun,” says John Arndt, our friend from Latitude 38 and founder of the Summer Sailstice.

summer sailing ashley loveThursday, June 20, the first day of summer, will offer us more than 15 hours of daylight, meaning you’ve got a lot of time before nightfall to get out on the water and go sailing. Join other sailors around the country (and beyond!) by registering and participating in Summer Sailstice, the annual celebration of all things sailing. This year it unfolds on June 22.

Founded in 2001, the Summer Sailstice is held each year on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice. The movement has grown from a couple of hundred boats that signed up in the first year to almost 5000 boats in more recent years—and that’s just boats. The number of sailors who participate annually is estimated at almost 19,000.

Registration is free and qualifies you for a chance to win prizes. Among the good stuff you may win are a weather routing forecasting package valued at more than $1000, a Weems & Plath OGM Series LED KIS light valued at $220, and SunPower flexible solar panels valued at $400. There are also contests for the biggest raftup and the best photo and video.

Sailors from 40 countries and 50 states had registered at print time. From the Chesapeake, registrants include the Chesapeake Bay Tartan Sailing Club, The Sailing Club, Inc, Catalina 22 Fleet 10 cruisers, and sailors from the Colonial Beach, VA, area. We anticipate that many more Bay-based individuals and clubs will sign up as the date approaches.

What kind of sailing counts? All kinds: racing around the buoys, distance racing, long-distance cruising, a simple sunset sail, gunkholing, rafting up with buddy boats, a short day sail… it all counts.

If you don’t own a boat, don’t despair. Beyond hopping aboard a friend’s boat, you could check out charter opportunities (see SpinSheet’s Charter Directory at spinsheet.com/find-a-charter) or join a public sail on a big boat such as the schooner Woodwind in Annapolis, the tall ship Providence in Alexandria, VA, or the schooner Alliance II in Yorktown, VA, all of which have public sails scheduled for June 22.

If you do go sailing on June 22 and are registered for Summer Sailstice, snap a photo. Social media posts are encouraged with the hashtag #RaiseYourSails. SpinSheet welcomes your photos too. Send them to [email protected]. Register at summersailstice.com.