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2018 DAMFUL REGATTA - May 19-20 - Leatherlips YC, Columbus, OH

posted Apr 5, 2018, 4:41 PM by Scott Buehler   [ updated Apr 5, 2018, 4:42 PM ]

Free lodging and camping available!   
Contact:  Paul Kreitler - paulkreitler@gmail.com , 614-507-7360   

Click for larger image:

44th Annual Orange Peel Regatta

posted Mar 19, 2018, 12:31 PM by Scott Buehler   [ updated Mar 23, 2018, 7:11 PM by Thistle Class ]

On the heels of their recent success at MWE, team 3976 takes first at the Peel.....
Congrats to Greg, Amy, and Mark!

Pics (by TIna Deptula):

2018 MWE - St Petersburg Yacht Club

posted Mar 16, 2018, 1:55 PM by Scott Buehler   [ updated Mar 16, 2018, 1:58 PM ]

Congrats to Greg Griffin, Amy Thompson, and Mark Reddaway!

Full results: link

Pictures (by Tina Deptula): TuesdayWednesdayThursday,Friday

2018 Tampa Tune Up

posted Feb 25, 2018, 3:05 PM by Scott Buehler   [ updated Feb 26, 2018, 3:53 PM ]

Congrats to team "Bananawind" (Jack Finefrock, Carrie Patterson, Andy Russell) for their 1st place finish at the Tampa Tuneup!

2018 Midwinters West Results

posted Feb 7, 2018, 6:04 PM by Scott Buehler   [ updated Feb 26, 2018, 3:54 PM ]

Sam Ingham, Tanya Cuprak and Taylor Vann won the Larry Klein Match Race regatta!

David Sexton fought a great battle through his matches losing only to team Ingham.

Thanks to MBYC, all the West coast sailors and Leslie Klein for a great regatta!

2017 Chautauqua Nationals Results

posted Dec 26, 2017, 6:53 PM by Thistle Class   [ updated Dec 26, 2017, 6:54 PM ]

July 22 to 28, 2017

Mayville, N.Y.



Fleet Splits/Divisions


Thistle National Championship

Women's Thistle National Championship

Youth Thistle National Championship


Current Registrants

Online Registration is closed

June 15 - Early-registration discount ends

July 7 - Registration deadline

Notice of Race

2017 Thistle National Championship NOR

2017 Thistle Women's and Youth National Championships NOR

Sailing Instructions

Nationals Championship Sailing Instructions

Women and Youth National Championship Sailing Instructions 


Chautauqua Yacht Club

Thistle Class Association

Questions? Contact regatta co-chairman Tom Hubbell.


Supported by

Chautauqua Lake YC

Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce

Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau

Town of Chautauqua

Chautauqua Institution


posted Sep 24, 2017, 6:01 PM by Thistle Class

Save the Dates - Winter fun in Warm Sunny Florida

The dates are in! Start with the Tampa Tune-Up at Davis Island on Sat Feb 24 through Mon Feb 26. On Feb 24th there will be optional informal racing. People are encouraged to let their crew drive or otherwise mix up their teams. Races on Feb 25 and 26 will be scored for the regatta. Camping is allowed. 

From there head over to the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for Thistle Midwinters East, Tuesday Feb 27 through Friday March 2. Yes we are having 4 days of racing at St. Pete this year.  Come join the fun!


ON THE WATER CLINIC on Friday, JULY 21st, with Ingham and Abdullah at Chautauqua Lake

posted Jul 14, 2017, 8:21 PM by Thistle Class   [ updated Jul 19, 2017, 6:38 PM ]

Mike Ingham and Paul Abdullah
will be holding an ON THE WATER CLINIC on Friday, July 21st, just before the start of CHAUTAUQUA NATIONALS.  On the water clinic begins at 1pm and will be followed by an on land debrief.  It should be a great Go Fast session with some of our best sailors.  

Also, Mike and Paul will be sharing "Go Fast Tips" each morning at 8:30 near camping area at the North tent.  
The sessions are opened to everyone and is free of charge.  
See this FLYER for more details.

2017 Nationals Measurement Info

posted Jun 10, 2017, 8:40 AM by Michael Lovett   [ updated Jun 10, 2017, 8:43 AM ]

Measurement update from Chris Pollak – Chief Measurer:

It looks like we’re going to have a gangbuster turnout of geezers at the Chautauqua Nationals! Of the 87 pre-registrants, 38 are Old Goats (50 years and older) and 18 of us are genuine geezers (full disclosure – I am one!) who qualify for the Milnes Trophy (60 years and older). In deference to us seniors, we will not be measuring centerboards for the first time in three years but we will continue to use a slimmed down measurement process. This will make it easier to get the 80 plus boats measured in a timely manner and ease the staffing requirements. We will once again rely on volunteers from all fleets to sign up for a time slots to serve on the Nationals measurement committee. Steve Lavender will lead this group as the local representative.

Here’s what we will check: 
1. Safety equipment required by the Coast Guard and/or the Thistle Class:
o Anchor & chain - 8 pound minimum
o Anchor line length – 100 feet minimum and line shall not be less than 1/4” in diameter or made up of more than two pieces of rope plus a chain
o USCG approved PFD’s – one per person 
o One additional “throwable” life saving device (life jacket or cushion)
o Paddle or oar 
o Bailing device(s) – 2 gallons minimum
o Whistle

2. All up weight – 515 pounds minimum.  Weight does not include sails, jib sheets, spinnaker pole, paddle, life preservers, anchor and line, and similar readily-removable items.  The rudder, tiller, mainsheet and attached hardware and rigging is included.  Also note that Hull Corrector Weights shall be firmly attached to the hull, either exposed, or, if inside a tank, located immediately adjacent to an inspection port. Half of the weight shall be located at or ahead of the chain plates with the other half located at least 6’ 0” aft of the chain plates. Any weight in excess of 15 pounds shall be evenly divided and placed half in the bow and half in the stern with the two halves at least 16’ apart.

3. Sail measurement – two mainsails, two jibs, one spinnaker (we will only measure sails which do not bear a previous Nationals measurement stamp or mark).  

4. Rudder weight – 8 pounds minimum.  Note that rudder corrector weights must be permanently attached.

5. Mainsail foot – 11’-11” maximum.  This effectively controls both the maximum mainsail foot dimension and the minimum length of the boom for which there is no specific dimension shown on the Plans.  We will check this at the Nationals by using a measuring stick to mark the boom at a point 11’-11” from the interior surface of the mast sail slot.  What you may not realize is that putting a stop on the boom at this point could be an improper placement.  The Sail Plan says “CLOTH OF SAIL MUST NOT BE ABLE TO BE EXTENDED BEYOND THIS LENGTH”.  Depending on the grommet configuration, bolt rope and sail slug on the clew, you may need to reposition the stop so that the aft most part of the mainsail cannot go beyond the 11’- 11” mark.   For those of us who are maxing out the foot tension on the main in almost all conditions, this is worth checking before you arrive in Chautauqua.

6. Mast J Dimension  
Wood or Gold Aluminum: 4’–10” (+/– 1 1/2”)
New Aluminum: 4’–10 1/2” (+/– 1 1/2”)
Measured from aft most point of forestay to the front of the mast, parallel to the horizontal base line with rig tensioned and butt shimmed as if sailing in moderate conditions.

Please remember that it is up to you to make sure that your boat, sails, and equipment are in compliance with all the Thistle Class rules whether or not they are spot checked at a Nationals. 

2017 NATIONALS UPDATE - Local Knowledge: Lake Chautauqua

posted May 31, 2017, 11:08 AM by Thistle Class   [ updated May 31, 2017, 1:40 PM by Michael Lovett ]

Chautauqua Lake hosted C Scow Nationals in 2010.
With the Thistle National Championship coming to Chautauqua Lake for the first time this July, I suspect I’m not the only sailor in the fleet looking for some local knowledge on this western New York venue. The most active one-design class on the lake is Chautauqua YC’s C Scow fleet. A dozen of the flat-bottomed 20-footers race on Saturday and Sunday afternoons throughout the summer. Steve Viehe and Jim Neville have been two of the fleet’s top dogs for years. Viehe, from Pittsburgh, describes himself as a “seat of the pants” racer; he calls Neville, from Cleveland, “more of a guru.”


A Typical Summer Day

The primary local factor affecting conditions on Chautauqua Lake is its impossible-to-ignore neighbor, Lake Erie, located 10 miles to the north and 800 feet downhill.


“Chautauqua Lake runs perpendicular to the Lake Erie shoreline,” says Viehe. “On a nice, hot summer day, in a high pressure system, we get a sea effect from Lake Erie. In the morning, the wind is typically light, out of the south, as the cool land air goes toward Lake Erie. That breeze dies around 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. In the afternoon, as the land heats up, we get a nice, steady breeze out of the northwest, right along the axis of the lake. That comes in around 2 p.m. and lasts until maybe 6:00 p.m.”


Just a Few Quirks

Neville considers Chautauqua Lake to be a very fair playing field—with just a few quirks. “It’s a very sailable lake for newcomers,” says Neville, who has also raced Lasers, Lightnings, and Snipes, and 505s. “You can read the water, and there isn’t anything super quirky about the area where [Thistles] will be sailing.


“In addition to the sea breeze,” he continues, “I think we get a little valley wind, where the hills down lake heat up and pull the wind to them. Whether that's true or not, who knows. Also, if you're sailing in the northern basin, people say the afternoon wind will tend to migrate west, because it has the tendency to follow the valleys. Any direction the wind comes from, you have to be aware of where the hills are and where valleys come into the lake. It's a typical inland lake, in that the wind will parallel the hills and come in directly out of the valleys. South of [Mayville], Dewittville Bay has a tendency to feed wind out of it. When the wind comes from the direction of Mayville, which is on a hill, it typically doesn’t come straight down the hill; it will try to go either side of it.”


As you might expect, the wind gets less predictable when it blows across (rather than along) the lake. “When it comes off the western shore, coming off the [Chautauqua] Institution, a lot of times you’ll start over in Dewittville Bay,” says Neville. “As you cross the lake, headed toward the belltower, that’s when things can get strange, depending on how tight the buoy is tucked in to shore.”


Powerboat chop can be a an issue on the weekends, but not during the week. Another thing to watch for, says Viehe: weeds. “We do get some weeds later in the summer, especially after they’ve been out with the weed cutters.”


Watching the Weather

As far as forecasting, Neville suggests keeping an eye on what’s happening in Erie (Pennsylvania) and Buffalo. “Erie and Buffalo will give you an indication about what might happen to the wind over the course of the day,” he says. “Erie provides a touch of an early warning. If Erie has wind and we don’t, you know it’s going to arrive in a half hour, as soon as it gets up the hill.”


By and large, both Neville and Viehe describe Chautauqua’s sailing conditions as dependable and predictable. “Like Steve [Viehe] says, it’s ‘seat of the pants’ racing,” says Neville. “You can see the wind on the water, and you can create your plan based on what you observe. There isn’t that formula that some lakes have, where it’s like, ‘You gotta go this way.’”

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