Summer Sailstice–The Global Celebration of Sailing–Celebrates 20th Anniversary on June 20th

Summer Sailstice is a global sailing celebration held on the weekend closest to the northern hemisphere’s summer solstice. This international event was founded in 2001 to create visibility, camaraderie and participation in sailing by connecting the global sailing community in a fun, creative, multi-location celebration of sailing. Summer Sailstice has connected over 20,000 sailors around the world – cruisers, racers and recreational – to celebrate and showcase life under sail. The event engages sailors from over 40 countries across Asia, the Americas, and Europe as well as all 50 US states.

Summer Sailstice Founder and Latitude 38 Publisher John Arndt Talks About the 2020 Anniversary of Summer Sailstice

2020 will be a magical year for Summer Sailstice. Just like the last 19! It was founded in June 2001, as a global celebration of sailing, to happen annually on the weekend closest to the summer solstice. So this is the 20th year and it happens the actual solstice falls on a Saturday, and is June 20, 2020. That wasn’t planned in 2001!

While sailing is not known for diversity, how people sail is incredibly diverse—Beetle Cats on Cape Cod, outrigger canoes in the Pacific, double-ended cruisers with tanbark sails, Sunfish, kiteboards, schooners, and scows. Some people are happy pottering around a lake, some thrive on racing and others feel compelled to sail through the ice of the Northwest Passage. That’s what makes sailing both incredibly cool and very difficult to unite. Summer Sailstice is a day for all sailors to celebrate the escape, freedom, chaos, and joy of sailing together, while we’re separated by both distance and unique sailing passions.

Turns out a pandemic is perfect for Summer Sailstice. We’re not traveling and we’re not stuck with our kids at the softball or soccer field. This year we can actually all do something together as a family, and sailing is perfect. On San Francisco Bay, we’ve created a treasure hunt for racers, cruisers and everyone to go sailing together while remaining apart. It’s easy for clubs, classes and anyone to set up. You can see the event we’ve posted with the local Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay, including a link to instructions, here.

This event is completely disorganized. If organized it would need a permit. You can start from wherever you want, at any time you want and sail anywhere you want. Participants take the prescribed photos to post on Instagram with unique hashtags and, from those, some lucky winners will be chosen at random for prizes.

Success is more people sailing. We’d have more non-sailors discover sailing, not through glitzy, high-tech, big-money events, but by seeing how most sailors sail most of the time. The world will see how, if everyone lived like a sailor, it would be a better place. Finally, it would be having the entire staff of Cruising World and Sailing World and all their readers signed up to start their summer of sailing “together” on Summer Sailstice.