TCA 2021 Annual Meeting Minutes

Thistle Class Association

Annual Meeting


CYC Cleveland Ohio


  • Call to Order
    1. The meeting was called to order by TCA President, Tom Hubbell at 10:00 am.
    2. Executive Committee in attendance: Tom Hubbell, John Howell, Warren Duckworth, Alison Gillum, Chris Pollak, David Hudson, and Joy Martin.
  • Roll call of the Fleets
    1. 26 out of 48 fleets were present or represented by proxy. Quorum was achieved.
  • Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting
    1. A motion for approval of the March 2021 Governing Board Minutes, as published in the Bagpipe, was made, seconded, and approved.
  • Officers’ Reports
    1. First Vice President John Howell
      1. An amendment from Fleet 53 was proposed. An online educational forum was held with 87 attendees. After consideration the amendment was withdrawn.
      2. Nationals Rotation
        • 2022 – The Nationals will be in Jacksonville, FL, at the Florida Yacht Club on May 14-19. The Orange Peel at FYC March 18-20 will be a feeder.
        • 2023 – A possible bid will come from Flat Head Lake, MT. Ashley Slaughter has proposed July 15-21, 2023. The research has been done on camping, entertainment, and early morning racing. She will bring a presentation to the Mid Winters East Governing Board meeting.
        • 2024 – Tom Hubbell is putting together a bid for Chautauqua Lake, Mayville, NY.
        • 2025 – Dave Hansen will be investigating a bid for Burlington, VT.
  • We are investigating running the Women’s and Juniors’ Nationals as a separate event, at a different time and location.
  1. We have potential supply chain issues with masts and booms. We’re working on solutions.
  2. Boat 4075 Raffle was a great success.  The boat will be unveiled soon.  Fred Hunger gave us legal help.  Alex Venegas has done great work on the new boat.  Peter Hudson picked up a trailer.  Thanks to all who bought tickets.


  1. First Second Vice President Warren Duckworth
    1. The forums with the website by BB Press are not working. We need to see how to make it easier to post, so we are exploring a move to Google Groups. We hope to enroll easily in this.  Please send any feedback to Warren.
    2. We will go back to 6 issues.  As always, we need articles.  We don’t charge for regatta promotions.   The next deadline is Sept 1st.  Please send results of regattas with crew names.  Consider giving an associate membership to your teammates so they will get the Bagpipe.
  2. Third Vice President Alison Gillum
    1. We are in good shape for Growth and Promotion funds. We are very lucky to have such generous support. We have 6 juniors whose nationals registration fee has been paid by the Growth and Promotion fund. We have a great website.  We sold 300 boat raffle tickets to support the Growth and Promotion fund.  Facebook and emails to the class brought over 70% of the purchases.  It really helps to have professionals to help us market. Next question: How do we promote our events? John Howell will have this on his agenda as President.
  3. Chief Measurer Chris Pollak
    1. Kudos to John Yingling and team on measurement. We relaxed the sail measurement requirements. It is a problem as we can’t tell when sails were acquired. Chris suggests we will need to resume sail measurement as it is the only way we have to keep track of who has acquired sails.  We measured any sails with change in design and there were no issues.  A set of Evolution sails and a Greiner Spinnaker were measured. No other sails needed to be measured.  There were some underweight boat issues.
    2. Can we use RFID tag on sails? We could consider paying a dollar a piece as way to track sails.
  • Everyone should have a set of plans for reference.
  1. Thanks to Beacon Composites for becoming an official boat builder and John Howell’s work to bring in this new builder. The new boat is good and fast.
  2. Station 1 and 2 hull measurements (these are the width of the hull at sheer, 1′ and 2′ from the stem): We found measurements all over the place among wood and glass hulls made by various builders.  Many boats were too narrow at station 1 including the new Beacon boats and most GMWs.  This is difficult to measure on hulls where the rails sit slightly above and hide the skin of the hull.  It is not at all easy to fix and offers no performance impact.  We may need to change tolerances in the Plans so that hulls measure in, in essence providing a blanket grandfathering of existing hulls.  Also, the expression of the measurement of the width as a half breadth is ambiguous and needs to be clarified.  Finally, on hulls where the rails hide the glass skin there is a question to be researched as to whether similar tolerance changes are advisable for the girths and sheer height above the baseline.
  3. Masts and booms
    Doug Laber has 5 black masts, 15 silver masts, and a few booms. The extruder who works with Tom Allen is working on getting a new die.  The current sections do not meet Thistle/Lightning class specs because our plans require a standard that is not commercially viable at a reasonable cost.  The original objective for the aluminum mast was to achieve the qualities of a moderately bendy spruce mast.  Booms cannot be produced until May 2022 due to problems at the extruders.  Kenyon and Dwyer were producers.  There is more work for us to do on the spar problems.
  • Secretary/ Treasurer Joy Martin
    1. There are 635 active memberships.
    2. The balance of the general fund is $66,658.08 before disbursements for the raffle boat, trailer and covers.
    3. The balance of the growth and promotion fund is-$37,168.69 before income from the raffle and disbursements for the registration fees of 26-and-under Nationals’ participants who requested it.
  • Past President and Nominating Committee Chair Dave Hudson
    1. Nominating committee: Wayne Balsiger, Scott Griffin and Dave Hudson.
    2. 2021 -2022 class officer slate:
      1. President – John Howell
      2. First Vice President – Alison Gillum
  • Second Vice President – Warren Duckworth
  1. Third Vice President – Aaron Holland
  2. Chief Measurer – Wayne Pignolet
  3. Past President – Tom Hubbell
  • Thanks to Chris Pollak for his work serving 14 years as Chief Measurer.


  • President Tom Hubbell
    1. Tom reviewed actions of the Executive Committee over the past year.  We re-registered as nonprofit in the State of Ohio with our federal 501c3 status.  We have reviewed our insurance plan and filed federal tax forms.  We hired a marketing professional, Nicole Shedden, to help us build the new new website and social media campaign.  We have certified the new builder: Alex Venegas of Beacon Composites.  Doug Laber  of Great Midwest Yachts has done a fine job. After 40 years of his service, we needed to find another builder.
    2. We are trying to be safe and careful about the pandemic and still go racing when we can.
    3. This week we celebrate the 75 years of the culture of Thistle racing. There have been a few changes over the years. We are in good shape financially and in membership numbers.
    4. Thanks to John Howell and Chris Pollak for their efforts to find a quality new builder.
  • Unfinished Business
    1. Nationals
      1. The streamlined measurement approach was approved.
      2. If anyone on a boat tests positive for COVID, the boat is out.
  • We encourage mask wearing indoors and social distancing all the time.
  1. Tom appointed Technical Committee for the regatta: John Howell, Chris Pollak and Matt Fisher, as referenced in the Sailing Instructions.
  1. Tom hopes to hold a discussion on diversity in the Thistle Class. We need to address that.
  2. This has been an interesting time the last year and a half. The Executive Committee meets every month on a zoom call.  The Executive Committee is committed to sustaining the growth and vitality of the class.
  • Meeting adjourned at 10:46 am



Submitted by Joy Martin, Secretary/ Treasurer



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