About The thistle Class

Meet The Thistle Class

Welcome! So you’re interested in sailing a Thistle? Let us introduce ourselves.

About the Thistle Class Association

We’re a community of people who love the Thistle and get a thrill out of sailing it with our friends – new and old.

The Thistle Class has been around since 1945 when Sandy Douglass introduced his new one-design sailboat and amazed the naysayers. The class is still growing and active; you can find Thistles – and Thistlers (that’s what we call ourselves) – all across the country.

We have as much fun on shore together as we do racing. You might see group yoga on the grass, a camping chair circle (always room for more!) or an impromptu training session at someone’s boat. We love sharing knowledge and getting people up to speed. Walk up to anyone in the parking lot and ask about their strategy, rigging, mast tune, anything! We’re glad to help.

You’ll find lots of family boats in the Thistle Class, and it’s not unusual to see young kids sailing with their parents or grandparents. Quite a few marriages have come from people getting to know each other through Thistle sailing!

Thistlers are competitive, but we value the camaraderie we have in the Thistle Class.

We often call these people our “Thistle family.” Join us!


Would The Thistle Class Be A Good Fit For You?

“I’ve never really sailed (unless that one time counts?), but it sounds cool.”

New to sailing? You might become a Thistler if:

  • You enjoy being outside and appreciate nature, especially water
  • You’re looking for an exciting new hobby (Like hiking, biking, climbing? So do we!)
  • You want to do that hobby with great people and find your tribe
  • You’re up for a (doable) challenge
  • You love a good adrenaline rush every now and then

In short, if you love being active outside, try sailing a Thistle with us. You’ll enjoy being in the boat – it’s fun and fast – and you’ll be welcomed by a great community of people. (Don’t be stuck on shore…give it a shot!)

Thistle Class Association fun

“I regularly sail other boats, but the Thistle looks interesting.”

Do any of these sound like you?

  • “I just finished college sailing and need to find a new boat to race.”
  • “I don’t have a ton to spend on a boat, but I want something that’s fast and competitive.”
  • “I want great racing in a class where it’s not about the money or the paid crew.”

Looking for fun people to sail with and against? We’d love to meet you and get you in a Thistle. You’ll be part of a welcoming community, and you’ll love the speed and responsiveness of the boat. 

Here’s what new Thistlers who’ve sailed in other classes say
about why they participate in Thistle sailing:

The Thistle provides a great challenge and an opportunity to grow your skills with a fun group of people. If you’ve just bought your first Thistle, your first year of TCA membership is free. And if you’re under 27, the class offsets fees for the big regattas to make them fit into your budget.

The Thistle Class is a proud member of US Sailing
Interested in purchasing one of the limited edition 2023 Thistle Nationals posters? They are 20x24” and printed on archival quality stock, each is signed and numbered by the artist - our very own Trevon Baker. Only 100 of these posters will be released, get yours while they last! To order, please click the link to fill out the order form. forms.gle/wB2pRs4o2vZiHyJ28 ... See MoreSee Less
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Hello Thistlers!As you know, we are doing an upcycling sail drive with Sea Bags during the Thistle Nationals. They are providing the prizes for Womens’ and Juniors’ Nationals.In addition, they are offering a vintage Thistle tote for raffle. You can enter to win a one of a kind bag.Please note the raffle landing page is here:https://woobox.com/ziidyhQR Code is also attached.Anyone may enter! You do not need to be present to win! ... See MoreSee Less
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The 2023 Atlantic Coast Championship was held on beautiful Mallets Bay, Lake Champlain, in Colchester, VT, at Mallets Bay Boat Club. The weather forceast was dreadful, yet 26 teams showed up and competed. We had two very long races on the outer bay. After the second race the sky looked very threatening so the RC smartly took us in for the day. Five teams were separated by 1 point on Saturday eve. After great munchies, good local beer and a wonderful lasagna dinner we all hoped for more wind on Sunday. We had a small delay on shore Sunday morning, but the wind came in and the RC took us out to sail on the inner bay. We had 3 more races, and the results showed some major changes. Many Thanks to Dave Hansen and Mark Gardner of MBBC. The whole club was so inviting. We want to go back again! Congrats to the winners in 3669- Mike Ingham, Kyle Finefrock, and Sarah Paisley. Full results here. mbbc-vt.org/events2/Thistle2023/Data/results3.htm ... See MoreSee Less
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The 2023 Thistle Great Lakes Championship is in the books. Many thanks to Seneca Yacht Club fleet 29, Rochester Canoe Club fleet 46 and PRO Matt Bounds for fantastic racing, amazing food, Zydecor band, and our sponsors Red Jacket Orchards. Thanks also to the 30 teams who traveled to our awesome lake. We had 5 races in some shifty, crazy conditions with winds from 0-18 Kts and 15-60 degrees shifts.On shore we enjoyed telling stories, playing cards, dancing to zydeco music, and fireworks!Results can be found here:theclubspot.com/regatta/yFvBZjaSFj/resultsCongrats to team Aaron Holland, Joy Martin, and John Baker! ... See MoreSee Less
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