Flathead Lake Thistle Nationals 2023

Join us in 2023 for Thistle Nationals at FlathEad Lake, Montana

77th Annual Thistle National Championship logo has a black watertower with a Thistle emblem next to NFYC 2023 Flathead Lake Somers, Montana

North Flathead Yacht Club welcomes you to the 77th annual Thistle Class Association National Championship!

July 14-21, 2023
Flathead Lake, Montana
Hosted by the North Flathead Yacht Club

It’s been over 30 years since NFYC hosted Thistle Nationals, and we can’t wait to bring back this exceptional regatta! We look forward to seeing all of you in 2023!


Registration is open! Visit www.regattanetwork.com/event/25405 to read the Notice of Race and register your boat for Nationals.

While registering, you can reserve a camping site for the week (see details below). Dinners at the club aren’t finalized yet, so you’ll get an email when it’s time to purchase meals and extra banquet tickets (each registration includes 3 banquet tickets).

Registration for Women’s Nationals and Junior Nationals will launch at a later date with a separate Regatta Network page.

What to expect

The best winds on Flathead Lake are early in the morning, so expect to be off the water by mid-day. This will allow plenty of time for socializing, relaxing, and exploring the local area.

Following races each day, NFYC will host a daily social and learning session. This will include a review of the good, the bad, and the ugly from the morning’s races, light snacks, and a chance to taste the local beers and spirits. Each day will be sponsored by a different local brewery, cidery, winery, or distillery.

Bring your lawn chairs, beach blankets, and coolers because you’re not going to want to miss this chance to socialize with the fleet and enjoy time at our beautiful and casual club! You will be able to BBQ and utilize our newly renovated outdoor kitchen. There are bathroom / shower facilities, a swim beach, small boat docks, and plenty of lawn area available.

We will be planning childcare and big kid activities. More to come on this.

schedule and social events

Social events will be planned for those that wish to attend, but there will still be plenty of time for relaxing on the lake, exploring the area, or hiking in Glacier National Park after races. Social events hosted by NFYC will include live music, food trucks, line dancing, and plenty of libations. Other community events taking place during the week include bingo and mini-golf at Del’s bar (conveniently located between the camping area and the club house), the Professional Bull Riders Association Pro Rodeo, the Bigfork Community Farmers Market and Festival, and much more!

For the official schedule, please visit https://www.regattanetwork.com/event/25405#_docs

July 12-13
Early Arrival / Check in

Friday, July 14
Registration & Measurement
After Hours at Del’s Bar

Saturday, July 15
Registration & Measurement
Practice Race

Sunday, July 16
Registration & Measurement
Women’s Nationals and Junior Nationals
Opening Ceremony and evening event at NFYC

Monday, July 17
Racing / After race social
Evening event at Somers Mansion
Music in the Park (community event)

Tuesday, July 18
Racing / After race social

Wednesday, July 19
Racing / After race social
Evening event at NFYC
Bigfork Farmers Market & Bingo at Del’s (community events)

Thursday, July 20
Racing / After race social
Rodeo at the Blue Moon (community event)

Friday, July 21
Racing / After race social
Awards Banquet at Jewel Banquet Center

Camping and Housing

We have coordinated tent and RV camping at the new and beautiful Somers Middle School. It is about 1 mile from NFYC, with a paved walking/biking path connecting the sites. Sailors and their families will have plenty of space and access to the locker rooms and common area within the school. However, there are no RV hookups. View the camping layout and options in the 2023 Nationals information packet. You can reserve your camping site(s) when you register for the regatta.

The communities surrounding Flathead Lake are chock full of activities and visitors during the summer months – this means accommodations tend to fill up fast. If you plan to reserve a VRBO or Air BnB, start looking six months to a year in advance and don’t wait too long to book. We plan to reserve a block of rooms at the Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn and Suites (406-857-2400), so stay tuned for more details.


We know Thistling is a family affair, so we’ll have on-site childcare and big kid activities for the week. Childcare will be provided at the North Flathead Yacht Club during the racing Monday-Friday at the price of $100 per child.

There are many fun activities for kids at NFYC and the surrounding area. Little kids can splash and play in the kids beach area and bigger kids can take out paddle boards and kayaks (please life jackets) NFYC also has lots of yard games, such as corn hole, can jam, and netball. The kids might go on a short hike along the Rails-to-Trails pedestrian path which has a small train museum and a playground along the way. In the event of inclement weather, we will have arts and crafts and games in the upper level of the clubhouse. We know the mornings are going to be very early for many of our kids so we will have some quiet activities planned such as storytime, coloring, or cartoons. No matter what, we know your kids will have a great time!

Childcare Registration

To enroll your kiddos in child care, please complete this registration form to provide information for your child(ren) and agree to the liability waiver (required). If you are registering more than one child, please include information for each child. If you do not complete this form, we will not be expecting your child and cannot guarantee a spot for them.

make it a road trip

Take advantage of this Montana Nationals to see some of the best sights in the country! Whether you’re coming from California, Florida, Maine or anywhere in between, pack up your Thistle and make the trip. It’ll be worth it.

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