To submit a news article, please provide title, text and photos to ThistleClassAssociation@gmail.com
News & Results
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.
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.
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
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.
SEE THE BELOW AMENDMENT PROPOSAL SUBMITTED BY FLEET #53. PLEASE REVIEW THE PROPOSAL AND SUBMIT COMMENTS USING THE LINK BELOW. THANK YOU.
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,
CURRENT RULING #7
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
During the Pre-Columbian era, the lake marked the southern end of a well worn portage for members of the Erie, Seneca, and other Native American tribes travelling between the watersheds of Lake Erie, which flows eastward to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Allegheny River, which flows southward to the Gulf of Mexico.
During the French and Indian War, the lake represented a strategic keystone in the battle for control of the North American continent.
And in 2017, Chautauqua Lake will serve as battleground for one of the continent’s most vibrant and competitive sailing classes: the Thistle National Championship comes to Mayville, N.Y., July 22 to 28.
A Community Effort
Similar to prior Nationals held in Edenton, N.C., and Flathead Lake, Mont., the Chautauqua event will be a community-supported, community-run regatta. Chautauqua Yacht Club in conjunction with the Thistle Class Association is the organizing authority, with support from Chautauqua Lake YC, the Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, Town of Chautauqua, and Chautauqua Institution.
Chautauqua Lake is located on the edge of the Allegheny Mountains in western New York, 10 miles south of (and 800 feet above) Lake Erie, 60 miles southwest of Buffalo, N.Y., and 40 miles east of Erie, Pa.
The lake is 17 miles long, 2-miles wide in the northern basin, where racing will take place. Winds typically blow along the lake’s long axis, which runs from southeast to northwest. During summer, in the absence of a dominant weather system, a southerly thermal (5 to 8 knots) typically develops in the morning, replaced by a northerly (8 to 20 knots) in the afternoon. Daytime highs rarely exceed 80 degrees, and nighttime temperatures dip into the mid 50s. Mosquitoes are rare, and the lake is perfect for swimming.
Mayville Lakeside Park will serve as the regatta base and boat park. Volunteers will launch boats using two ramps and a portable crane, and we’ll tie up along a dock built specifically for the event.
On-site camping will be available at Mayville Lakeside Park. The park has a bathhouse with toilets and outdoor showers, and organizers will provide portable toilets and showers. For full-feature campgrounds, check out Camp Chautauqua and Camp Prendergast (approx. 5 miles away) or Chautauqua Lake KOA (14 miles away).
For hotels, Chautauqua Suites (1/2 mile away) is offering a special rate on suites starting at $141.99/night.; Webb’s Resort has motel-style rooms starting at $140/night. Find more information about hotels, B&Bs, and vacation rentals at TourChautauqua.com.
There’s so much to do in Chautauqua when you’re not sailing. Catch a world-class symphony or opera at Chautauqua Institution, a resort community that has served as the region’s cultural center since 1874. Daily gate fees range from $16 to $82, depending on when you arrive and how long you plan to stay. (Free admission on Sunday.) Whether you take in a lecture (just what a racing sailor needs, right?) or attend a theatrical production, the Institution’s artistic and cultural offerings are sure to inspire. During Nationals, the programming theme is, “The Supreme Court: At a Tipping Point?,” featuring lecturer Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center. Visit ciweb.org/2017 for schedules and calendar updates.
To create a self-guided tour of the Chautauqua area, download the Orbitist app, which includes maps and ideas for exploring historic sites, villages along Lake Erie, and more.
You can even send the kids to camp for the week. Inside the Institution, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club runs the oldest day camp in the country, open to the public. In Jamestown, Infinity Visual and Performing Arts’ Time Machine Day Camp lets kids explore music and arts through the ages. Also in Jamestown, the Audubon Nature Community Center offers day camps to accommodate a variety of ages and interests.
Chautauqua is an excellent home base for outdoor adventure. Cyclists and hikers can explore the extensive Chautauqua Rails to Trails path, which passes right through Mayville Lakeside Park. Or hike the Chautauqua Gorge, featuring scenic waterfalls, refreshing swimming holes—even a designated skinny-dipping area.The Fred J. Cusimano West Side Overland Trail offers hikers and mountain bikers over 24 miles of trails.
Like golf? Nearby Peek’n Peak Resort has a world-class course (hosting the PGA Tour over Fourth of July weekend). The resort also offers an Aerial Adventure Course, ziplines, archery, mountain biking. mini golf, Segway tours, a spa, and an indoor/outdoor pool complex.
Need a drink? Beer snobs won’t want to miss Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood. You can also stumble along the Chautauqua-Lake Erie wine trail or sip a cocktail on the lawn at historic Hotel Lenhart in Bemus Point.
On a rainy afternoon, head to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum & Center for Comedy in Jamestown, or drool over the classic wooden boats on display at the Lawson Center in Bemus Point.
Schedule of Events
· Saturday, July 22: Measurement; registration; Women’s and Youth Championships, Chautauqua Belle dinner cruise (1 of 2)
· Sunday, July 23: Opening ceremony; practice race; reception; BBQ dinner sponsored by a volunteer fire department
· Monday, July 24: Fleet racing; Chautauqua Belle dinner cruise (2 of 2)
· Tuesday: Fleet racing; private dinner at Southern Tier Brewing Co.
· Wednesday, July 25: Championship and President’s Division Racing; post-race reception at Hubbell Boat Club; dinner on your own
· Thursday, July 26: Championship and President’s Division Racing; BBQ dinner sponsored by a volunteer fire department; Music in the Park (Mayville Lakeside Park) or Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (Chautauqua Institution)
· Friday, July 27: Championship and President’s Division Racing; awards banquet at Chautauqua Suites
There is no quota, but early registration is a must. Registration opens March 1; early-registration discount ends June 1; registration deadline is June 15. Competitors must meet the usual TCA rules for qualifying for Nationals, which may be completed after registering.
We hope to see you in Chautauqua! Questions? Contact regatta co-chairman Tom Hubbell.
The Eugene Yacht were the perfect hosts for the competitors. Nearly all the competitors camped on site and the club volunteers were able to provide three meals daily for everyone. Special thanks goes to Regatta Chairman, Stuart Ramsing and his assistant Nicole Tiffany for putting on a fantastic event.
See the writeup below from Mike Ingham, which was posted on the North Sails web site:
"Eugene YC is a special place both on the water and off. We had been to the there for the last 2 Nationals, so we immediately signed up this year barely consulting our calendars –everything else could take a back seat. When asked what it is like, I would say "The wind comes in like clockwork (no foulies required), the RC is spot on, the club members are gracious hosts, the camping is perfect, the scenery beautiful and there is never a drop of rain.” Fortunately, the 2016 Nationals lived up to those exaggerations.
There were 58 teams who attended the 2016 Thistle National Championship at the Eugene Yacht Club on July 23-39. They were treated to fabulous racing conditions and superior hospitality from the members of the Eugene Yacht Club. All 7 races were held in 10+ knots of winds and most had some great planing reaches. Not a drop of rain fell on the competitors, either on or off the water. Days were warm and nights were cool, which was perfect for camping at the club, which was the preferred housing option for most of the 160+ competitors.
Mike Gillum posted this to the Thistle mailing list and it look so interesting, I thought it needed to become an article here on the website. -- Paul Nelson
My double-deck trailer which has gone cross-country several times carries the top boat right-side up using a Dolly fabricated using .120 x 2 x 6” rectangular aluminum Tube with fiberglass Bunks scavenged from a previous Thistle Trailer while the four corner Supports are fabricated using 3/16 x 2” square TS with steel plate Horizontals and “Saddles” to attach the Supports to the frame of the Trailer as well as the Dolly along with a pair of diagonals constructed of ½” steel Rod with Clevis at both ends and fixed Wheels at the bow/front and swiveling Wheels at the transom/rear of the Dolly.
When we double-deck to Mission Bay Yacht Club it’s a battle to see who ends up with the Dolly as it’s so much easier to move around the yard and parking lot than the Trailer!
Masts are carried atop the top boat using a pair of carpeted 2 x 6 Doug Fir Tie-Down Bars with 2 x 6 verticals with carpeted cut-outs to carry upwards of three masts.
For 2010 MWE Dave Keran drove my galvanized double-deck Trailer, his boat #3905 and my #3820 on its GMW trailer back to St. Pete as #3820 was delivered to Richard May immediately following MWE. For that trip I used a pair of 4 x 6 Doug Fir Beams that attached to the existing Supports using fabricated Mounting Brackets that thru-bolted to the 4 x 6 Beams to carry the second Trailer.
Biggest advantage of the second trailer is that you end-up with plenty of spare tires for the cross-country trip as Dave eventually had to change both of the tires on my double-deck Trailer when both tires slowly delaminated.
My Dolly has been used at Eugene Yacht Club for 2010 PCC’s and 2012 TCA Nationals but we were allowed to stay near the Hoist.
Looking forward to seeing a lot of you at EYC in less than six months!
Mike Gillum #1010
OR WHY STOP WITH A DOUBLE DECK TRAILER? HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS OF THE TRIPLE DECK TRAILER OWNED BY LARRY LIGGETT.
Were I to do this again, I'd make a better support system for the rails as the entire weight of the boat is on the rails with this rig. I'd rather have the boat right side up as it's easier to pull off with a hoist than round up a bunch of sailors.
Comments are limited to web authors so if you have photos or thoughts to upload, send them to me and I'll post them for you.
;-) Paul Nelson - Paul@photoboat.us
Of course, there are always challenges in maintaining a healthy and vibrant Class. Generally, attendance at our regattas is down a bit with Nationals participation becoming more dependent on the proximity to our strong base in the Mid-West region. We have seen a decline in the number and size of fleets, with some fleets (mine included) that are right at the required 3 boat minimum and a handful that are on probation with fewer than 3 boats. So we have plenty of opportunities to improve and grow our Class. Fortunately, there are also success stories, such as the recent reinstatement of Fleet 169 in Newport, RI. Through the efforts of several enthusiastic sailors, Thistles have returned to one of the most storied sailing venues in the country. According to the fleet members, the Newport scene was missing an affordable, family-friendly boat; a niche for which they say the Thistle (and the Class) sells itself!
The TCA was faced with another challenge in recent months regarding the 2016 MWE schedule. Due to a confluence of events, St. Pete Yacht Club is not able to host us for the traditional Monday through Friday racing on Tampa Bay. Kyle Finefrock, our now past president, has worked diligently with St. Pete Yacht Club as well as Sarasota Sailing Squadron to come up with the framework for the 2016 Thistle Winter Series, which will incorporate 6 days of racing split between these two fantastic venues. (Please check out Kyle’s article in this issue for additional details.)
Over the past several years, there has been a lot of discussion among our members regarding the Nationals and MWE formats. Some of the topics have included event length, number of races, course length, and expansion of potential venues. We now have the opportunity to try some of the ideas that have been proposed. Based on feedback from attendees at Nationals as well as various regattas across the country, there was no real consensus on the best format for the 2016 MWE. Therefore the schedule for the 2016 Winter Series is a compromise that is intended to provide something for everyone as well as an opportunity for us to learn firsthand. However, in order to learn from everyone’s experiences we need your support. For those interested in a new venue with three days packed with racing, come to the first leg in Sarasota. If you enjoy the traditional MWE experience but cannot swing a full week of sailing, come to St. Pete for the final leg. If you want to maximize your sailing and/or time away from the cold weather and snow, then come for the whole week. You could participate in both events and enjoy what each of these venues has to offer or mix in some off the water vacation.
Enjoy the off-season and start making plans for 2016! (This article was originally published in the Dec 2015/Jan 2016 "Bagpipe" and is being reprinted with permission)
Andrew Derussy and Jennifer Grant, Craig Smith, with Sarah Smith and Clay Mathias, and Buddy Wainright, with Renee Wainwright and Alex Padgett.
Complete scores are below as are links to photos taken by Tina Deptula.
Thistle Class Association
Fort Walton Yacht Club
Sailed: 7, Discards: 0, To count: 7, Entries: 50, Scoring system: Appendix A
Links to 2015 Nationals pictures -
2015 Nationals FWYC – Women and Juniors
2015 Nationals FWYC – Monday Race 1 and 2
2015 Nationals FWYC – Tuesday Race 3
2015 Nationals FWYC – Friday Race 7