Thistle Midwinters East 2020: When I’m 64
St. Petersburg Yacht Club, February 29-March 6, 2020
by John Deermount #3987
As we age, we’re supposed to slow down and be more leisurely. Well, somehow the 64th Annual Midwinters East at St. Pete didn’t get the word. Tampa Bay acted more like a Millennial overloaded on Red Bull rather than a Green Bench Senior Citizen. Eight full-hike races in plenty of breeze made for a challenging week. So much for St. Pete’s reputation as a light air venue! Thank goodness, the water wasn’t too cold for swimming… right, Tom Hubbell?
Forty-two boats from 16 states from as far away as California and Texas made the cross country
trek. There were even international crews from Sweden and Finland!
The competition was close and competitive with six different boats winning races. The PRO, Todd Fredysen, considered a second (ninth) race on the last day, but the fleet cried, “No mas.” There were even reports of some crews “kissing the ground” when they finally made it back to the Sailing Center.
There were some interesting oddities about the racing. The top five finishers only won half the races. All eight races were sailed after a postponement. There wasn’t one General Recall. This was the last major event at SPYC before the virus outbreak and the cancellation of all SPYC spring sailing events.
Top 5 at Thistle Midwinters East 2020
Mike Ingham with crew, Dan Fien and Marianne Schoke in #3969 claimed his third Midwinters East championship and Miami Sunshine Trophy. He also won the Ol’Thistlin’Tom as top finisher over the age of 50. Mike didn’t win a race, but his five 2nd’s and 29 points overall gave him a solid lead.
Last year’s champion, Matt Fisher, with crew Wayne Pignolet and Sarah Paisley in #3990 was the runner up with 37 points. Matt won two races and also claimed the new Old Salt Trophy for highest finisher over 60. The trophy was donated by the Glover family. Matt was the only top five competitor without a double-digit finish.
Jack Finefrock sailing #3945 had a couple rough early races, but his finishes improved as the breeze built. He tied for 3rd, but won on the tiebreaker with 59 points. His crew were Jesse Shedden and Carrie Patterson.
Brent Barbehenn #3998 had the other 59 points finishing 4th. He sailed with Brian Parker and Kate Erklaurer. Tiffany Parker was his forward crew early in the week. 5th Place with 71 points was Craig Koschalk #4028. Lauren O’Hara and Ryan Kyle were his crew. Craig finished strong, winning the last race.
The winner of the six-boat B-Fleet was Bill Lawson #3678 with Sandy Westphal and Jonathan Phillips crewing. Finishing 21st overall, he also received the Mid-Fleet Award, a Homer Simpson plush doll – D’Oh! The requirement is to take Homer with you to any regattas and bring him back to the MWE. B-Fleet 2nd went to Kevin Tschantz #3464 with Ethan Anderson and Dustin Davis crewing. 3rd Place went to John Gilmour #4045 with Robert Daniel and Sally Rusk.
There was plenty of fun ashore to offset the hard work on the water. SPYC showed off its culinary creds with a seafood paella dinner the first night and ended with an upgraded banquet complete with bagpiper for the awards banquet. The welcome dinner featured an oldest tee shirt/hat contest that ended in a tie between Lloyd Kitchin & Warren Duckworth for the same 1975 Northcape Nationals shirt. There also was an off-site pub night and the Second Annual Intergalactic Thistle Shuffleboard Championship.
Next year’s MWE will be the 65th. Make plans to attend this memorable blowout.
2020 Midwinters East Results
Abbreviated results are below. View complete results on the Yacht Scoring website or download the PDF. For the race recap articles, see the June/July 2020 issue of the Bagpipe.
|1||3969||Mike Ingham / Dan Fien / Marianne Schoke||29|
|2||3990||Matt Fisher / Wayne Pignolet / Sarah Paisley||37|
|3||3945||Jack Finefrock / Jesse Shedden / Carrie Patterson||59|
|4||3998||Brent Barbehenn / Bryan Parker / Tiffany Parker||59|
|5||4028||Craig Koschalk / Lauren O’Hara / Wm. Ryan Kyle||71|
|6||3993||Brad Russell / Joe Hart / Murphy Olson||84|
|7||3669||Mike Gillum / Mardi Gillum / Alison Gillum||84|
|8||1784||Nicole Shedden / Conor Ruppen / Warren Duckworth||90|
|9||779||Kevin Bradley / Tim Vining / Marissa Balough||90|
|10||3896||Aaron Holland / Peter Hudson / Rachel Shaw||92|
|11||4024||John Baker / Joy Martin / Casey Gilmore||100|
|12||4036||Bill Drahiem / Drew Daugherty / Mike Brown||102|
|13||4035||Paul Abdullah / Marie Abdullah / Lance McDonough||104|
|14||4040||Lloyd Kitchin / Carol Kitchin / Matt Kreuzkamp||111|
|15||3811||Scott Meyer / Lauren Meyer / Jenny Borshoff||113|
|16||4003||Mike McBride / Larry Liggett / Kat Mahaney||116|
|17||3889||Rodney Glover / Paul Nuechterlein / Carli Pigmolet||137|
|18||1473||Kevin Arrow / Ervin Grove / Terra Berlinski||147|
|19||3856||Rick Wood / Ryan Wood / Monica Wilson||152|
|20||3796||John Walton / Jason Huyghe / Chris McGrane||159|
|21||3678||William E Lawson / Sandy Westphal / Jonathan Pillips||168|
|22||3890||Thomas Hubbell / Betsy Yingling / John Yingling||176|
|23||4022/3883||Ian Hunter / Sam Baker / Telmo Basterra||177|
|24||3905||Scott Frissell / Peter Frissell / John Duckworth||178|
|25||4032||Sam Brauer / Thomas Cordts / Kathy Finefrock||184|
|26||3735||John Hutt / Charles Rysenga / Mark Pytell||200|
|27||4047||William Wilson / Carol Wilson / Kate Homet||206|
|28||3849||John Howell / Diana Young-Paiva / John Norton||211|
|29||740||Craig Smith / Sarah Bonner / Anne Borema||216|
|30||3797||Michael Gillian / Adam Dolkart / Michael J Gillian||225|
|31||3613||Mark Hess / Robert France / Dick Harmon||226|
|32||4039||Scott Buehler / Danielle Buehler / Michael Hennessy||255|
|33||3464||Kevin Tschantz / Ethan Anderson / Dustin Davis||265|
|34||4023||Edward John / Tory Gibb / Sam Maddox||269|
|35||3719||Bill Kitchens / Steve Koulogianes / Lauren Blanchard||276|
|36||4045||John Gilmour / Robert Daniel / Sally Rusk||277|
|37||3767||Martin James / Kit James / Brian Schaldach||284|
|38||3624||Gerry Christman / Dave Knaak / Alex lagoutchev||293|
|39||3864||Philip Christman / Kent Lowry / Bruce Sutter||315|
|40||4021||Chris Annand / Chris Annand / Meg Farugia||316|
|41||3077||Gary Bonner / Robin Bonner / Lynne Weise||324|
|42||3818||Jack Mahaney / Alex Liggett / Elliott Newnham||344|
Photo credits: St. Petersburg Yacht Club Media Team, John Duckworth