Welcome aboard Nicki Bennett. Nicki is the ring leader around here at Summer Sailstice and also works for Latitude 38. She loves sailing and hopes to help it grow in the coming years.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I live aboard and love the sailing community. I have lived all over the US, and had a varied career from Restaurateur, photographer, bartender, Fine Art Marketing Consultant to now doing Sales and Marketing for both Latitude 38 and Summer Sailstice. This community is the most I have ever felt at home. Loved, accepted, supported. I grow and learn every single day.
I sailed a lot as a child with my best friend's parents. We regularly sailed to the Channel Islands. From there I always had the desire and came close to buying a boat a few times, but life took its turns. I lived in Maine for 6 years and owned a small center console boat that was used to cruise and island-hop. It was in Maine that the bug to be on the water was reborn. When I moved back to California I started dating a guy who was new to sailing. He bought a boat and we sailed every weekend for over a year. I got a job doing canvas to build skills with future plans to go cruising. I then transitioned to working for Latitude 38 and Summer Sailstice.
During the beginning of the COVID lockdowns, my partner and I cruised the Delta for 21 days on his 27ft Newport sv Penelope. This trip opened up my eyes to the possibilities of living and traveling nomadically on a boat. Our relationship ended shortly after the trip, and that is where my own sailing journey really begins. I purchased my own boat three weeks later and have been learning to skipper, along with the ins and out of boat ownership as I fix up my lovely old boat. I have completed a lot of projects have learned so much. I have gained confidence, and skills and have found myself happier than I have ever been pursuing my dreams. Sailing continues to enrich my life in ways both expected and unexpected.
What is your favorite color? Green
Preferred type of sailing: Cruising
Boat Make: Ericson
Boat Length: 32
Boat Name: Sospiro
Homeport: Berkeley, CA
Favorite Point of Sail: Broad Reach
How long have you been sailing? Actively for 2.5 years
What do you love about sailing?
I love the solitude of moving under sail. I love that there is always something to learn. I love that in one day you can encounter a variety of conditions. I love that sailing requires you to use all of your senses and think on your feet.
How long have you been participating in Summer Sailstice? 1 year
What are your Summer Sailstice plans for 2021?
I will be skippering my boat on Summer Sailstice on the SF Bay. If you are a woman and are sailing on Sailstice join our event: https://summersailstice.com/event/lets-get-ladies-sailing
We will be connected women across the globe all sailing on the longest day of the year. Kicking off with pre and post Zoom celebrations and a theme. Any ideas?? Let's support each other in getting on the water, and having a good ole time!
Are you a part of any sailing clubs, fleets or organizations?
Cal Sailing Club
Why do you want to be a Summer Sailstice Ambassador?
I feel passionate about getting more people sailing. I think it is a skill that can extend and enhance many different parts of your life. I want to see more diversity in sailing, specifically gender diversity.
How do you plan to promote Summer Sailstice?
I am the ringleader around here, so I will be wrangling Ambassadors, telling Sailstice tales, finding awesome brands to partner with, and hopefully making the 2021 prizes and contests the best ever. I will also be spreading the word through my own social media, Latitude 38, and my blog. Really hoping we can plan some amazing events for 2021 but that remains to be known. I will also be sending emails to update our community on all things Sailstice.
Who is your sailing hero?
I don't think there is one. There are many women (and a few men) who have been so supportive in my sailing journey. Sonya & Jack (also Sailstice Ambassadors!), Ichiro, Katie, Lauren, Aaron, and on and on. Then there are the ones I admire. Honestly, there are so many amazing women I look up to. It started with Liz Clark and has just expanded. Right now I am a total fangirl to Elana Connor who is solo sailing around the world while raising money and awareness for Foster kids. I would love to sail with her and have a cup of tea.
What is your bucket list sailing trip? Sweden
Favorite Sailing Movie? Captain Ron, of course!