Lake Townsend Yacht Club's Summer Sailstice was more than just a celebration of sailing, it was an opportunity for people of all ages and all stages of sailing ability to come together and enjoy a day of learning, practice, and camaraderie. The day also served as a lead-up to the NC based club's annual 'Women on the Water' (WOW).
Regular Summer Sailtice sailor Stephanie Taylor, who created WOW to help women build the skills and confidence to take the helm of a sailboat, sent us this story about LTYC's SAILstice event and WOW Practice Day:
'Summer SAILstice, the global celebration of sailing, is a great way to introduce people to the sport that lasts a lifetime. It gives all ages and skill levels an opportunity to participate on the water while enjoying nature and the beauty of their surroundings. Edison, a 10-year-old sailing student had just completed a week-long beginner sailing class. The young man was up and ready to go before his parents even got out of bed. He couldn’t wait to get back on the water to sail an AquaFin. Laina, home from boarding school came out for the day to spend quality time with her father, who is an avid sailor. Phillip, who just started a sailing meet-up group to find like minded new friends, came out to see what our Yacht Club was all about. Annette was so inspired by our 2016 ladies event that she bought her own boat and skippers it in local regattas with the help of some of the female coaches. The list of reasons for SUMMER SAILSTICE go on, but it all boils down to one thing…the love of being on the water.'
'Saturday, June 24th, 41 people from three yacht clubs came out to Lake Townsend Yacht Club, in Greensboro, NC. Sailstice served as a 'Women on the Water' practice day. Flashback to 2016, a life changing day for many women who took the helm for the first time. Inspired to give it a try while knowing their lifeline, an experienced female sailor was right by their side coaching them. This event was so popular that WOW 2 was scheduled for September 10, 2017.
'Sailstice was a beautiful, sunny day with winds of 5-7kts, perfect for those new and/or less experienced skippers. Upwind and downwind tacking and gybing practice was done on a slalom course just like that seen on a ski slope. As confidence grew, the women tried to see how close they could get to the marks, without hitting them. In addition, skippers sometimes had to maneuver and slow down if they caught up to a boat that was rounding directly in front of them. After multiple runs, it was time to head out further on the lake to practice spinnaker legs, launching, dousing, flying the chute time and time again. Finally, a triangular course was set to bring together the skill work that was practiced in the morning.
'After derigging, it was an “afternoon sailors delight”, social time. During the festivities a chalk-talk was presented by Sara Paisner from Carolina Sailing Club. Sara is a former OSCC instructor from Berkely, CA. Sara used a interactive method to discuss the differences between being crew and taking on the responsibilities of a skipper.
'At the end of the day, the ladies left more confident as they get ready for Women on the Water 2, on September 10th.'
LTYC's Women on the Water program has also attracted the attention of local news station, FOX8's Natalie Wilson, who posted this story and video about WOW.