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Go Small, Go Simple, Go Now

May 5, 2024 by Heidi Benson-Stagg

“Go small, go simple, go now.” ― Larry Pardey, Cruising in Seraffyn

Larry and Lin Pardey sailed over 200,000 miles, past all the great southern capes, including Cape Horn. They built the two boats they used for two circumnavigations; both were under 30 feet and neither had an engine.

The Pardeys are proof that you don’t need a “yacht” to fall in love with sailing. Start small. Check out the many sailing clubs that offer free crewing opportunities such as The Villages Sailing Club who offer Wednesday night sails on Lake Harris in Florida. Their club is open to all Villages residents, with a boat or without, and no experience is required. Their fleet includes small, trailerable keelboats and dinghies and their website features small boats for sale. 

Cal Sailing Club invites the public for free sails on their fleet of keelboats and dinghies ten times annually, including during Summer Sailstice. Take a virtual ride with them in San Francisco Bay by clicking HERE. Children over the age of five are welcome, so make it a family affair. You'll also have the opportunity to learn about boat and waterfront safety, Bay ecology and the fun challenge of sailing non-motorized watercraft.

Perhaps you already own a sailing dinghy? Prior Summer Sailstices have seen folks out sailing on a huge variety of small craft and day-sailers such as Flyings Scotts, Penguins, Turnabouts, El Toros, Fireballs, O'Days, Widgeons, Beetle Cats and Lasers. The Hempstead Bay Sailing Club hosted an afternoon of small boat races off Long Island, New York in 2022. Our friend Gail Turluck is a member of the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club and, as she's done for her past 12 years of Summer Sailstice participation, will be out racing her Sunfish, Stitches. We love Gail's bio quote, "Sailing is life."

Where's our Junior Sailors? Eleven-year-old Cody Wood will be racing in the first 2024 BAYS (Bay Area Youth Sailing) Summer Regatta hosted by Richmond Yacht Club. This is his third summer of racing with the Encinal Yacht Club Junior Sailing Race Team and he was just promoted from the Opti Green fleet to Champs. Go Cody! 

We'd love proud parents (and grandparents, like me!) to enter their plans for sharing the love of sailing with our youth on Summer Sailstice. You can also ask your club's youth sailing program to create a Summer Sailstice public or demonstration event to encourage our young sailors to keep the wonderful sport of sailing alive and thriving. 

Summer Sailstice is not about the size or age or brand of boat you sail, it's about getting out on the water, raising the sails and uniting with sailors around the world who share the passion of sailing. 

Go Small. Go Big ... Just Go Sailing!


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