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
Thistle sailors from up and down the East Coast officially ended their sailing season with the Heather Bowl Regatta, held October 29-30 at the iconic Red Dragon Canoe Club in Edgewater, New Jersey. Eight skippers and crew took advantage of a beautiful fall day on the Delaware, including winds that ranged from light to moderate (at 6-8 mph) throughout the day. RC fit in four challenging races, then attendees enjoyed beers and snacks onshore and took in the sunset. The Red Dragon's annual Halloween Party and Costume Contest topped off the day, with sailors and club members contending for top prizes! There were bumblebees and ladybugs, as well as groups: a walking wine and cheese party (with some Fireball, for zest), and cereal box stars like Trix the Rabbit, Tony the Tiger, and even "Pop" of Snap, Crackle, and Pop. The winner, naturally, was the Red Dragon himself (accompanied by a green dragon - together they had the look of rival channel markers from the river outside the window). Sunday morning dawned cool and clear, with calm waters, the wind never filling in, so the regatta was called. Another stunning fall day, but sailors found themselves removing their centerboards instead of sailing, and then attending the Awards Ceremony three hours earlier than expected. Still, no one could argue that they could have made a better choice than to wrap up their sailing season at "The Dragon. ... See MoreSee Less
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4 weeks ago

Thistle Class Association
Bloody Mary Regatta ... See MoreSee Less
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Nyack hosted the 53rd LoGerfo Regatta on October 22-23rd with a total of 17 boats (6 out of town and 11 Nyack boats) for a total of 6 races. We had a great time sailing in a tight fleet and then coming off the water to warm apps and chili. The night ended with group of people hanging on the porch at the club and others venturing up the hill to downtown Nyack. Final stop on the ECFS tour is Red Dragon this weekend! Come join in the fun! ... See MoreSee Less
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The 2022 Kayaderosseras Kup went un-won after a Goldilocks weekend of first too little then too much wind. First time both occurred in the same day! This didn't stop everyone from enjoying the gorgeous fall weather, delicious pasta dinner, and good times by the fire. Congrats to Chris and Kripa on their engagement that they shared with their Thistle family! Next up, the Paul LoGerfo Memorial Regatta in Nyack! ... See MoreSee Less
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Amazing sailing at Saratoga Lake Sailing Club. Photo cred to Suze Edwards. Sailors Charlie Bailey and Dave Hansen. ... See MoreSee Less
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