Home‎ > ‎

News & Results

To submit a news article, please provide title, text and photos to ThistleClassAssociation@gmail.com

Help Nationals Go Green

posted May 1, 2017, 5:01 PM by Michael Lovett   [ updated May 2, 2017, 5:46 AM ]

In an effort to make the 2017 Thistle National Championship as environmentally friendly as possible
, we’ve registered as a “Clean Regatta” with Sailors for the Sea, a conservation organization dedicated to engaging the boating community in protecting the oceans. 

Of course, registering is the easy part. In order to achieve “silver” certification, we need to reduce the regatta’s impact in a number of areas—everything from going paperless to eliminating disposable plastic water bottles to ensuring fuel-efficient crash boats. And we need your help.

Would you like to help Nationals go green? To volunteer, submit your info at SignUp.com, or contact  Danielle (Bower) Buehler.

Here are a few of the requirements for Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta certification:

Paperless Regatta Management
Use an online Regatta Management System to handle all electronic registration. Switch to a flat screen monitor or whiteboard to broadcast event results.

Water Bottle Reduction
100% elimination of all single-use plastic water bottles at event

Water Refilling Stations
Make water coolers or water jugs available to refill water bottles on land

Responsible Dinnerware
Eliminate straws

Ensure 1:1 ratio of Landfill to Recycling bins.

Responsible Signage
Make sure all waste bins are clearly marked RECYCLING, COMPOST, or LANDFILL. Make sure all signage is made from fabric or sustainably sourced material, not PVC.

No Discharge 
Remind all participants in Notice of Race (NOR) and at skippers’ meeting that sewage discharge is illegal.

Toxic-free Cleaning 
Suggest a “Water Only Washdown” protocol for boats at event. Require use of nontoxic cleaning products.

Oil Spill Prevention
Create “Safe Refueling Areas” and ensure proper training to all staff.

Efficient Power Boats
Replace any two-stroke engines with more fuel-efficient four-stroke engines.

Reminder: Two Amendment Proposals Require Votes At Nationals

posted Apr 18, 2017, 3:23 PM by Thistle Class   [ updated Apr 18, 2017, 3:37 PM ]

There are TWO AMENDMENT PROPOSALS that will be voted on at Chautauqua Nationals this year.  Links to these are below.  PLEASE REVIEW these amendments and post your opinions.  Thanks.

Greg Griffin Wins Orange Peel Regatta

posted Mar 24, 2017, 4:21 PM by Thistle Class   [ updated Mar 24, 2017, 4:47 PM ]

Orange Peel Regatta Recap by John Norton:

"Wow, what a great weekend we had. As everyone knows I haven't been doing a lot of sailing but this past weekend reminded me why nothing beats sailing in a regatta over the weekend. Why you ask... well for me

1. Road Trip- who doesn't like getting away.
2. Sailing - who doesn't like that
3. Competition- who doesn't like that
4. Beer- besides my wife who doesn't like that.
5. Seeing old friends and making new ones - who doesn't like that.
6. Sunburn- not supposed to like it but it's a guilty pleasure.

Need I go on.
It was a fantastic weekend. Friday was a bust. We had a little chalk
Talk and tried to sail but there really wasn't enough wind to do much.
I was hoping to get a couple of starts and short races to gel the team
(Howard, Kaitlyn and Me) and gets some rust off me and the boat but we
had to settle for gelling in the bar singing irish diddy's. We may have
gelled a weee to much.
Saturday morning yielded cloudless skies and shifty westerly. Our first
start was okay, we broke the cardinal rule of going left after we said
pre-start we wanted to go right but we were in good company but they
were ahead enough to get some shifts first and velocity first that they
stayed with the right side but we didn't. Nothing like being deep at
the first mark of the first race of the regatta to demoralize the crew.
We hung in there but on a light downwind leg did not communicate well
and lost more boats. A 19 out of 23 was in the books. Our Optimistic
Goal on the ride down was Top 5. Race 2 the wind came up a little more
and we had a decent start We basically followed rule 1 and kept the boat

pointed toward the mark and sailed as fast as we could. We did okay
that race and finished 9th, helping to lift our spirits. Race 3 start
we were in trouble at the start, I was approaching on port, could not
find a hole and the velocity picked up and the wind swung left favoring
the pin, we were headed toward the boat with no hole to tack into All I
was thinking was S#@t,S#@t,S#@t,S#@t! Ask the crew because I guess I
said it also. I just prayed for something to happen because I wan't
going to be able to take the Wrath of Kaitlyn if I had a third row
start. Well don't you know the starboard boats could barely make the
line so there was just enough room for me to start on port a hair late
down near the boat. With all the speed from the broad reach, we shot
out to a pretty clear horizon, there is a God. We sailed well that
race, I tried to go fast, Howard and Kaitlyn fed the info. and tactics
and we finished 7th. Good enough for 10 after day 1

Sunday we woke up to light wind in the parking lot but whitecaps on the
river. Oh Boy, haven't done this in a while. It was just about 60
degrees and some forward crew from other boats who were going to be
coldest hesitated a bit. We sailed out in conditions I hadn't seen in a
little while, only to have my ability questioned by my forward crew.
It was one of those mornings, no need to raise the jib before the
warning, the wind is steady and big. So we reached back and forth, got
soaked and waited for the 5 minute gun. Oh and it was a Triangle
course, I didn't even know they did those anymore. Big air gybes always
fun for spectators not so much for 56 year old skippers. We had a good
start, poked out to boats around, hiked and sailed as best we could.
The fast crews were around us and we were holding, ok. Enough sailing on
starboard, we have a lane let's tack. Ooops, John Dad, dropped the
tiller, another refrain of S#@t,S#@t,S#@t,S#@t, back onto starobard,
good news, no fouls and only lost 4 boatlenghts and found ourselves in
decent shape at the weather mark, We do a W-L-W-R-L-W triangle so it
was no problem setting the chute on the 2nd leg for dead downwind. We
sailed as fast as boats around us which was good. We did not sail as
fast as top crews, but not surprised with our limited time together and
practice in these conditions. Back upwind we hiked then off to the
reach. Thanks goodness the reaches were broad and we had no problems.
We finished 7th again. 2nd race Sunday the wind stayed up. Nothing
fancy here stated conservative with a times start on Starboard coming
into the line from behind and below the RC boat. Again we held with
everyone, to my surprise, dropped the tiller one more time and finished
9th so results 19 9 7 7 9 for 8th place.
Given our average of 8 in the first race and we would have been 6th
overall , 1 spot from our goal. John or Dad was exhausted but very

John Norton

St Pete Yacht Club Hosts Midwinters EAST for the 62nd Consecutive Year

posted Mar 21, 2017, 6:38 AM by Thistle Class   [ updated Mar 24, 2017, 4:24 PM ]

There were 34 Thistle teams that migrates to St Petersburg Yacht Club for the 62 CONSECUTIVE Midwinters EAST Regatta which was held March 1-3.  There were 3 races sailed in each of the first two days of the regatta, but high winds on day 3 cancelled racing on the final day of the event.  Mike Ingham, Dan Fein and Delia Ingham won the event for the 3rd consecutive year.  Greg Griffin finished the regatta in 2nd place and Kyle Finefrock finished in 3rd.  Full scores are below:

2017 Thistle Midwinters East Regatta
Preliminary Cumulative Results

Select to view a specific Class:           
Sail NumberYacht NameYacht DesignSkipper/CrewRace
Midwinters East Regatta Racing
One Design Division
1.  USA 39693969ThistleMike Ingham82111316.0
2.  USA 3976ResilientThistleGreg Griffin34534120.0
3.  USA 3948Dad BodThistleKyle Finefrock76465836.0
4.  USA 1010870ThistleMike Gillum236916238.0
5.  USA 1021Dear DarlaThistlePatrick O'Connor5511102538.0
6.  USA 39973997ThistleScott Griffin120759446.0
7.  USA 3945BananawindThistleJack Finefrock41113411649.0
8.  USA 4028Proper VilllianzThistleCraig Koschalk1815273752.0
9.  USA 1473Huff and PuffThistleKevin Arrow12712126958.0
10.  USA 779Lot LizardThistleKevin Bradley2011011141773.0
11.  USA 3843Stroppy CowThistleTom Lawton101292735/RET75.0
12.  USA 3890Alma & LouiseThistleThomas Hubbell131082181878.0
13.  USA 4003Hot TubThistleMike McBride6161815121683.0
14.  USA 4024EllieThistleJohn Baker9221714101385.0
15.  USA 1784ThistleThistleNicole Shedden1719148131990.0
16.  USA 1166GreenthistleWill Tyner251815161811103.0
17.  USA 4032Boris BadenovThistleSam Brauer24819221922114.0
18.  USA 635Jo-JoThistleCharles Krafft29922182514117.0
19.  USA 4036DescendentThistleDrew Daugherty163021133010120.0
20.  USA 3572FreeThistleConor Ruppen212530171512120.0
21.  USA 3889LyleThistleRodney Glover271425192023128.0
22.  USA 3796Beyond Bitchin'ThistleLoren Hoffman152923272115130.0
23.  USA 4035Crime SceneThistlePaul Abdullah1113335/DNS35/DNS35/DNS132.0
24.  USA 3849D'OHThistleJohn Howell222324201727133.0
25.  USA 4039B-FlatThistleScott Buehler142629232721140.0
26.  USA 3828Family MagicThistleDan Russell282816252320140.0
27.  USA 37353735 (*)ThistleJohn Hutt19172035/OCS2624141.0
28.  USA 3187RedlineThistleBill Kitchens302126262226151.0
29.  USA 3624Little SynergyThistleGerry Christman262427242828157.0
30.  USA 4045Satin SheetsThistleDavid Deptula232728312425158.0
31.  USA 3077NoneThistleGary Bonner313231293130184.0
32.  USA 1995BlueThistleMays Dickey333132282935/DNF188.0
33.  USA 40234023ThistleEdward John32343335/DSQ3229195.0
34.  USA 3818cwch cyflymThistleJack Mahaney343335/DNF3035/DNF35/DNS202.0

Second Annual Sarasota Winter Regatta Another Success

posted Mar 21, 2017, 6:22 AM by Thistle Class   [ updated Mar 24, 2017, 4:10 PM ]

There were 28 boats that attended the second year of the Sarasota Winter Regatta held at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron from February 26-28.  There were 9 FABULOUS races sailed on the Sarasota Bay in winds from 8 to 16 knots.  Mike Ingham won this event with Kyle Finefrock in second, and Jack Finefrock in third.  Complete results below:

A Fleet (24 boats) (top)
Series Standing - 9 races scored

Information is final.
Regatta results last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 1:18:31 PM CDT
Click on race number to view detailed race information.

PosSail  Boat  Skipper 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 TotalPos
3969  3969  Mike Ingham  1  1  3  3  1  2  10  1  1  23  
3948  Still Dad Bod  kyle finefrock  6  2  4  2  4  1  2  11  3  35  
3945  Bananawind  Jack Finefrock  2  4  6  10  3  13  5  2  4  49  
4024  Ellie  E Baker  13  8  1  5  2  3  6  14  9  61  
3997    Scott Griffin  15  3  2  11  5  10  12  3  6  67  
3890  Alma&Louise  Thomas Hubbell  3  6  12  13  8  5  1  12  15  75  
3572  Free  Conor Ruppen  4  12  16  4  12  14  7  4  8  81  
4003  Hot Tub  Mike McBride  11  14  5  1  18  4  8  7  14  82  
3843  Stroppy Cow  Tom Lawton  5  9  18  12  9  8  9  6  7  83  
1010    Mike Gillum  8  10  13  7  6  11  11  8  10  84  
3889  Lyle  Rodney Glover  12  7  14  9  16  15  14  9  5  101  
1473  Huff & Puff  K Arrow  16  15  7  16  7  16  13  13  2  105  
1784    Nicole Shedden  7  5  11  14  11  6  18  21  22  115  
1021  Dear Darla  Patrick O'Connor  10  18  8  21  13  12  4  20  12  118  
1266  Wood Duck  Tom Doran  22  19  15  15  21  7  3  10  13  125  
635  Jo-Jo  Charles Krafft  9  16  10  20  15  19  19  5  19  132  
4032  4032  Sam Brauer  23  17  9  22  10  9  16  19  17  142  
3828  Family Magic  Dan Russell  17  24  17  8  14  18  20  15  18  151  
4045  Satin Sheets  David Deptula  14  11  19  17  17  17  24  18  16  153  
3849  D'OH  John Howell  18  13  24  18  20  20  15  16  20  164  
4039  B-Flat  Scott Buehler  24  21  22  6  19  22  17  17  21  169  
3624  Little Synergy  Gerry Christman  21  20  23  23  23  23  22  22  11  188  
1995  Blue  Mays Dickey  20  22  21  19  22  21  23  23  23  194  
3187  Redline  Bill Kitchens  19  23  20  24  24  24  21  25/DNS  25/DNC  205  

B Fleet (4 boats) (top)
Series Standing - 9 races scored

Information is final.
Regatta results last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 1:18:31 PM CDT
Click on race number to view detailed race information.

PosSail  Boat  Skipper 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 TotalPos
3775    John Hutt  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  9  
3077    Gary Bonner  2  2  4  2  2  2  2  2  2  20  
4023    EDWARD 711096R JOHN  3  4  3  3  4  3  3  3  3  29  
3818  cwch cyflym  Jack Mahaney  5/DNC  3  2  5/DNS  3  5/DNC  4/DNF  5/DNS  5/DNC  37  

Sam Ingham Beats Dad to Win the Larry Klein Match Race Championship

posted Mar 9, 2017, 8:01 PM by Thistle Class

The Larry Klein memorial Match Race was changed somewhat from other years. The 3 race qualifying series was out, and double elimination was in. Cesar Romero used the internet to find a 9 participant double elimination bracket to fill in with boat numbers. The course was set as a 4 leg zig-zag with both port and starboard mark roundings and a sepa­rate finish line. That meant that more than one race could be going on the course at the same time, just five minutes later.

Sunday morning was chilly, cloudy, and calm. A little rain had fallen overnight, and drizzle threatened most of the day. The skippers’ meeting explained all about the box, the umpires, the flags, and the various colored marks. Some of the extra time gained by dropping the qualifying series was lost in waiting for the wind to come up. Once it did the Race Commit­tee got things moving quickly.

All boats had their first race before the One Loss Bracket began eliminating teams. As teams left the field, the others had less and less time to relax before returning to the fray. Sam Ingham was sent to the One Loss Bracket after his first race against John Baker. But from that point on, he won his way to the top of that bracket including a rematch with Bak­er. Meanwhile Mike Ingham knocked out all his competition in the Winning Bracket, until the finals where he faced his son, Sam.

Sam won their first encounter, but that meant they each had just one loss. One more race was needed, and Sam got out ahead, but was careful to cover his dad right from the start of the first beat. On the second leg, Sam got his spinnaker pole up early to be ready after the upcoming starboard rounding. The third leg was downwind where Sam pulled further ahead. Mike closed the distance somewhat on the last beat, but Sam kept him covered for about 2/3 of the beat before he aimed right for the finish.

In the end Mike Gillum and his all-family team took 3rd Place, Mike Ingham, a proud father, took 2nd Place, and Sam Ingham claimed 1st Place.

Chautauqua Marine offering discounted boat rentals for Thistlers

posted Mar 8, 2017, 5:55 PM by Michael Lovett

During 2017 Thistle Nationals, racers, family, and friends will receive $25 off a pontoon or powerboat rental from Chautauqua Marine. In addition, Thistlers will receive 10-percent discounts on many showroom items.

Chautauqua Marina is full service marina, home to the largest and newest rental fleet on the lake. From pontoons to powerboats, Chautauqua Marina has you covered.

The marina recommends booking reservations in advance-- simply mention “Thistle” to receive the discount. You must be 21 years or older to operate or rent a pontoon or powerboat.

Chautauqua Marina

104 West Lake Road

Mayville, NY  14757

716 753 3913


Amendment Proposal: To Allow Position Sensing Devices and Technology - YOUR COMMENTS NEEDED

posted Feb 16, 2017, 3:44 PM by Thistle Class   [ updated Feb 19, 2017, 4:51 AM ]

Amendment proposal from Fleet #61 to permit technology to enable post race analysis

The proposal revises CMR #65 as follows to permit position sensing devices during racing as follows:

Revise Chief Measurer’s Ruling #65 to read as follows:

Electronic or electrical devices shall not be used except as follows: digital electronic compasses are permitted, provided that they do not have the capacity to display any information other than the digital compass heading; electronic starting timers and stop watches are permitted; position sensing devices are permitted provided that the information that is recorded or output is not used onboard.


CMR #65 Existing wording:

Electronic or electrical devices, such as electronic navigational instrumentation, shall not be used. Digital electronic magnetic compasses are permitted, provided that the devices do not have the capacity to provide any information other than the digital compass heading. Electronic starting timers and stop watches are not prohibited by this CMR and may be used.


 Reasoning for the change:

A growing number of devices exist today that have the capability to record speed, position, heading, and other parameters about the device’s position and movement. Most people already own a smart phone capable of recording this information, and many other standalone devices exist, the sole purpose of which is to record this information. There are several websites, including free services,that can display a recorded track. Carrying such a device on board while racing to record information for use in post-race analysis can be beneficial for self-improvement, education, fleet building, live race broadcast, and class promotion to name just a few. As the amendment states, such a device would not be allowed to be visible, audible, or otherwise usable while racing.



1. Self improvement- Analyzing one's own race data can have significant value in improvement of one's sailing ability.

2. Education- Viewing a replay of a race in a group or classroom setting (think Coach-TCA afternoon debriefs, fleet racing recaps, accompaniment for slide shows at regatta dinners, etc.)

3. Class/Fleet Building- In order to attract millennials, juniors, and other up and coming sailors to our class, we must embrace the technology that other classes are adopting.

4. Live Broadcasting- This amendment provides for the ability of devices to broadcast live race data to allow spectators to watch races in real time. No more waiting for FaceBook updates or Tweets about who is rounding the marks first.

5. Advertising- Race replays can easily be used for advertising purposes.





Additional Information

During the 2009 season, the Seattle Thistle fleet used the Kattack Race Analysis system, for which they were granted a temporary exemption by the TCA. Low-cost GPS units were stored out of sight during racing (in a dry bag or rear tank) and data was uploaded to a website after all boats had returned to the dock. The fleet’s goals in using GPS recording were education and fleet building and the technology was very successful at helping fleet members improve their sailing. Below are quotes from 2009 from fleet members.

“Our fleet has always been welcoming to new members. We share go-fast ideas, hold ‘crew change & improve’ nights, and congregate in the parking lot to discuss the evening’s racing. Our use of Kattack fits right into that pattern and is particularly useful for sailors who are new to the sport (not just new to a Thistle) – precisely the sailors we are all working so hard to attract and retain in the class. Being able to see the decisions that more experienced sailors made in a race has helped new members learn about tactics and strategy…In essence, we view Kattack as a coaching tool, and so far it has been a great success!” --  Doug Stumberger 

“The Kattack allows one to see after the fact how one tacks affects the time it takes to regain speed. You can see how shifts were played correctly or incorrectly. We don’t have an issue with people looking at the devices during the race. I and some others put it in the rear tank, so it is not visible. It is a good teaching tool for both experienced and new Thistlers. It adds a new dimension to races by being able to see what others did and how they achieved their results. I think it adds to the racing experience. It is not an advantage on the race course so there is no mandatory must have to spend the money issues. If you don’t want to use it, you are not at a disadvantage in the race.

 -Wayne Balsiger -2010 PNW District Governor


I'm happy to provide feedback from the "middle" crew position. Kattack provides invaluable feedback for any team looking to improve their racing skills. In #3995 my job is mainly sail trim, boat speed, and reading the shifts. Kattack is a fantastic visual tool that allows me to compare (after racing) my boat speed against other boats. It also reports when my "navi-guessing" skills are successful or not-so-successful. (i.e.: how did I miss that big righty!). Kattack is the next best thing to a real life coach.

 -Laura Bolin – Fleet Secretary/Treasurer


I thought it was very helpful to be able to assess my boat speed against other boats and to be able to review and try to learn from my decisions/errors relative to the wiser members of the fleet.

 -Tom Staiger


Being a mid fleet boat, it’s been great to watch our sailing angle and speed against some of the upper fleet boats. It has cleared up some perception problems and helped us focus on specific issues which are far obvious in review on the tracks then it is in the heat of the race.

 -Fleet 61 member


 Submitted by Graham Vaughan, Fleet #61


Position Sensing Devices and Technology


posted Feb 6, 2017, 7:46 AM by Thistle Class   [ updated Feb 6, 2017, 8:01 AM ]

Three races were held in PICTURE PERFECT condition on the final day of Thistle Midwinters WEST Regatta, which was sailed out of the Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego, California. Today, the 32 boats were blessed with 3 great races on the Pacific Ocean, in a perfect 10+ knot NW breeze with moderate swells. Mike Ingham, with Dan Fien and Terra Berlinskias as crew, finished with a comfortable lead over his 
son, Sam Ingham, with Alexa Cavalieri and Delia Ingham (Sam's mom and Mike's wife) as crew, who finished the regatta in second place overall. Third went to Hans William who scored a consistent 4, 3, 6 on the final day. Mike Gillum edged out Jonathan Posner for 4th place by winning the final race of the regatta. Posner finished in 5th. The President's Fleet was won by John Baker, Joy Martin and Aaron Holland, who had a comfortable lead over the second place boat, which was skippered by Oscar Barney.

Amendment Proposal: Change to Wood Boat Seat Floatation - YOUR COMMENTS NEEDED

posted Feb 3, 2017, 8:00 AM by Thistle Class   [ updated Feb 20, 2017, 6:51 PM ]


Amendment Proposal by Fleet #53:

Change Chief Measurer’s Ruling #7 to read:

7. Buoyancy Tanks – Required. For wood hulls, these may be of wood construction or buoyant material such as Styrofoam. Supplemental flotation of any type may be placed under the seats, but seats may not be widened nor the buoyancy extended beyond the vertical plane of the inside edge of the seats. Flotation may extend beyond the vertical plane of the inside edge of the seats, but no greater than 1’4” from the inside hull skin measured perpendicular to the center line. Seats may not be widened. For wood and glass hulls, bow flotation may not extend aft of the forward edge of …….”


7. Buoyancy Tanks - Required. These may be of wood construction or buoyant material such as Styrofoam. Supplemental flotation of any type may be placed under the seats, but seats may not be widened nor the buoyancy extended beyond the vertical plane of the inside edge of the seats. Bow flotation may not extend aft of the forward edge of the mast stanchion. Flotation forward of the gratings must be at least 14” below the sheer and spray must drain into the bilge. Stern flotation may not extend forward of the grating. If a block of unicellular foam such as Styrofoam is used for buoyancy tanks, artificial hollowing or cored shapes may not be used.

 Reasoning for this change:

Safety. At present, wood boats are not able to have as much flotation in the seat area as glass boats. Because of this, when wood boats are capsized they have less buoyant force and sit much lower in the water (~ 9-12”). When they are righted, they scoop up much more water and sit much lower (~6-9”) with much less freeboard above the water. This makes it very difficult to self-rescue esp. in wavy waters. Wood boat owners are not looking for an advantage over glass boats. The 1”4” dimension from the inside skin for their seat tanks is what glass hulls are allowed presently in the Plans and Specifications.  We just wish to be able to self-rescue on a par with glass boats.


Christopher Klotz, Fleet # 53 Captain  


Wood Boat Seat Flotation ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎(Responses)‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎

1-10 of 55