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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) has suites starting at $141.99/night listed as “Thistle Nationals”; 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
The article shows installation in a wooden Thistle (448) but the same method works with fiberglass boats.
There were 30 boats that competed in the 2015 Atlantic Coast Championship regatta, hosted by the Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis MD on July 11-12. There was one light air race on each day and Lloyd and Brian Kitchin survived best with a second and first place finish to win the regatta and repeat as AC's Champions. Jared Ridder finished in second and Charlie Kreitler in third. Despite the light air, all the competitors had a wonderful weekend in Annapolis. The Fleet 34 volunteers did a great job hosting another great Thistle regatta at SSA. Complete scores below.
Sunday, July 12, 2015 3:41:51 PM EDT
Division: Thistle (30 boats) (top)
Pos Sail Skipper/Crew/Club 1 2 Total Points
1 4040 Kitchin, Lloyd/Kitchin, Brian/ LHYC 2 1 3.00
2 4044Ridder, Jared/Murphy, Charlie/Hardy, Erin/NBC 3 2 5.00
3 3872Kreitler, Charlie/Kreitler, Allison/Kreitler, Paul/CPYC1 5 6.00
4 4000Reasoner, Dan/Reasoner, Marlene/Illg, Beth/NSC5 7 12.00
5 4003 McBride, Mike/Brauer, Sam/ WYC 11 4 15.00
6 635 Krafft, Charlie/Krafft, Cairn/Krafft, Bill/ SSA 10 11 21.00
7 3994Paiva, Dillon/Norfleet, Johnny/Paiva, Diann/AYC14 8 22.00
8 2201Foltis, Rosemary/Freeman, Doug/Leaf, Kathy/SSA17 6 23.00
9 3607 Miller, Luke/Asuncion, Alex/Yingling, Joy/ LHYC 23 3 26.00
10 4045Deptula, David/Rusk, Sally/Vanderheyden,Allan/ NCSC18 10 28.00
11 3762McKenna, James/Fafoutis, Matt/Freeman,Aaron/ SSA21 12 33.00
12 4021 Annand, Chris/Hammond, Bob/ NCSC 20 13 33.00
13 3828 Russell, Dan/Russell, Tom/Myers, Lauren/ CSC 4 31/DNC 35.00
14 3077Bonner, Gary/Bonner, Robin/Bonner, Sarah/NSC19 16 35.00
15 3736Hussey, Tim/Hussey, Thomas/Hussey, Joshua/LHYC6 31/DNC37.00
16 3721Gruver, Steve/McNomee, Emma Kate/Fast,Kyle/ CPYC7 31/DNC38.00
17 3947 Hudson, Dave/Hudson, Peter/ SLSC 8 31/DNC 39.00
18 3687Buehler, Scott/Bower, Danielle/Farrugia, Meg/NCSC30/TLE 9 39.00
19 4023 John, Edward/Gibb, Tory/Maddox, Sam/ SSA 24 15 39.00
20 3911Prozzello, Paul/Hartman, Scott/Sherrer,Jarrett/ NSC9 31/DNC 40.00
21 969Munger, Kira/Zangle, Troy/Craige, Maggie/OYC27 14 41.00
22 2571Hoyt, John/Krafft, Amy/Smith, MarySophia/ 12 31/RAF 43.00
23 1356Gaylord, Jesse/Moreau, Nick/Gajor, Stephanie/SSA13 31/DNC 44
24 3771 Moore, Don/Quay, John/Virden, Jon/ SSA 15 31/DNC 46.00
25 3141Gilmour, John/Daniel, Bob/Wolcott, Alex/GRSA16 31/DNC 47.
26 3856 Wood, Rich/Wood, Ryan/Wood, Keri/ NBC 22 31/DNC 53.00
27 3898 Hale, Peter/Hale, Susan/Roberts, Jono/ SSA 25 31/DNC 56.00
28 3912Harris, Bill/Myhre, Leann/Densnore, David/SSA
26 31/DNC 57.00
29 1678Prinski, Craig/Sullivan, Mark/Chung, Michelle/CRYC30/TLE 31/DNC61.00
30 740Smith, Craig/Reasoner, Danielle/Zebrowski,Alexis/ NSC31/RAF 31/DNC62.00
(1) Scoring System is ISAF Low Point 20092012
(2) Time limit expired (TLE) penalty is: Finishers plus 2
Information is provisional and subject to modification
Principal Race Officer: Jesse Falsone
It was challenging sailing, all right. But never let that interfere with the festivating! After two MO races on Saturday, the RC tried to pull off a third, but between war-weary crews and a good party cranking up on shore, wisely chose to bring us in for mead-a-ritas and music instead. Never let it be said that the Dixie revelers take our theme lightly! Horned helmets ruled the appetizer table (never mind that the Vikings didn’t actually wear those arresting headpieces — WE did, so that’s all that matters), and before the dancing began in earnest we had a rousing game of Kuub going in the yard. It would have been a special weekend even without a theme to make us rowdy — for unless anyone in the Southeast has been living on a different planet this past year you just might be aware that Jacksonville’s Paul Abdullah and AYC’s home-grown Marie Thompson chose Dixie weekend for their long-awaited wedding. So there was plenty to celebrate!
We did manage to squeeze in the remaining three races on Sunday, for a full complement of five. The Purple-Fleet/Green-Fleet concept still worked this year (although we would hope for a more even balance in the future), thus giving us two sets of winners. Congratulations to Brad in the Purple Fleet, and to the Green Fleet’s Larry and Connie Wagner from the Rudder Club, who returned to the Dixie after many years’ absence but with winning skills still intact. Get your thumbnail sketch here, or look for a complete report in the next Bagpipe.