TCA 2021 Mid-Winters Governing Board Meeting Minutes

Thistle Class Association Mid-Winter Governing Board Meeting Minutes

  March 2, 2021 via Zoom

  1. Call to order was made by President Tom Hubbell at 8:05 pm.
  2. Roll call was completed electronically and a quorum was confirmed. 56 people were on the call.
  3. Approval of August 2020 Governing Board minutes as published in the 2020 October/November Bagpipe. Motion passed.
  4. Officer reports:
    1. Second Vice President Warren Duckworth
      1. Bagpipe: The class will publish 5 issues this year due to funding. We are hoping to have six issues next year. We have lost advertisers and need more advertisers for the Bagpipe and website. We are not in the red. John Duckworth has reached out to a sunscreen maker to advertise in the Bagpipe. Deadline is April 1 for May/June Bagpipe. We are lacking for content. and could use submissions for this issue.
      2. Our marketing initiative includes progress with the listserv conversion to a forum on our new website.  It’s not smooth yet but we will give it some more time. We need a ‘subscribe to all’ button for the forums and a forum button on main page. We need people to post regattas in the regatta calendar. Google has found our website and “Thistle” content searches on Google are driven to our website.  Google groups wouldn’t be as effective. Warren gave a shout out to Mays Dickey, Tommy Glenn, and Nicole Shedden for their work on social media and the website.
    2. Chief Measurer Chris Pollak 
      1. The measurement committee recommends approval of Beacon Composites as a builder. {See detail below.}  We now know there is a problem with the GMW mold, now owned by Beacon Composites, Alex Venegas.  Previously, Doug Laber, (GMW) could get Station 2 to measure in, but not Station 1.    Alex can meet Station 2 requirements and we recommend a permanent variance for Station 1.  The quality of the first Beacon boat is superlative. It is a Thistle! A motion passed making Beacon Composites an approve Thistle builder.
      2. We may consider waiving sail measurements or doing a sampling at Nationals this year.
    3. Third Vice President Allison Gillum
      1.  The Growth and Promotion Fund drive is in its last big push. $826 is needed to meet the goal.  Our matching grant donor is giving up to $20,000 and extended the deadline. 79 individuals have donated all but $826. While we were talking during the meeting, members contributed more, and we exceeded the goal on the spot! Thanks to all who donated.
    4.  First Vice President John Howell:
      1. Our strategic plan had two initial initiatives. We have completed the marketing and new builder initiatives. 
      2. We are working on webinars to inform our growth and promotion of the class. Our focus is engaging members and marketing the class. We will be working with folks inside and outside the class to find out what helps encourage member engagement.  The Growth and Promotion Fund exists to support the next phase of the program.
      3. Jacksonville will host 2022 Nationals. We are investigating and soliciting nationals’ sites for 2023 and 2024.  We are looking for a Northeast venue for 2023.  We will give major emphasis to camping and new sailing venues.
    5. Secretary-Treasurer Joy Martin
      1. We have 411 current paid memberships. In addition, 285 from last year are yet unpaid. We have to date about 125 more paid members this year, well ahead of the last two years rate of dues payment. A final email was sent today, and paper invoices will be sent this week.
        1. General Operating Funds –               $21,933.56
        2. Growth and Promotion Funds –         $39,338.70
    6. Past President Dave Hudson
      1. The Nominating Committee will be reactivating. Dave will solicit names for the Executive Committee nominations including self-nominations. Please send names to Dave.
  5. President Tom Hubbell
    1. The 2021 Cleveland Nationals plans are moving forward.
    2. Tom put forward a request for reapproval of the Nationals qualification method approved last year.  After some discussion, a motion to approve was made and seconded. It was clarified that skippers who sailed a national chevron event including the Women’s or Youth Nationals in 2019 were included in the intended qualifiers for 2021.  After further discussion, the motion to table (until some improvements in the wording in Bylaws Article XIII and XIV could be worked out,) was approved.  This resulted in two amendments to the bylaws which were subsequently voted on electronically by the Governing board and passed about one week later. Please see below.
  6. Other old business – 
    1. Clean Class Initiative was presented by Mike Ingham. Our class is working on defining what a “clean class” is with the Sailors for the Sea organization. We have had Clean Class regattas at the Sheboygan and Chautauqua Nationals as well as many regattas at Fleet 34/Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD. The aim is to try to get “green and clean” best practices in place at all our regattas and to the local fleet level.  See the “green boaters” pledge. Mike and several other Thistle sailors are working to get some measurable activities to share with Sailors for the Sea that they would then roll out to other classes to help them be more environmentally conscious and engaged. This team is looking for more members especially from the West Coast. Contact Mike Ingham for more information.
  7. New business – Amendments Chair, Jack Finefrock, notified the GB that Fleet 53 has proposed an amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws about the jurisdiction of the TCA.  The text of the amendment was subsequently presented on the TCA Forum on March 18.  (See Bagpipe, this issue.)
  8. Comments from the floor were invited.  A dozen speakers spoke about many things including the difficulties in creating events during the pandemic, especially regarding housing and social events.  Boats can be left at Cleveland YC after the Great Lakes at North Cape.  Atlanta is hoping to host the Dixie, May 29.  It was suggested to restore the rigging info on the website.
  9. Adjournment at 9:32 pm.

Meeting Attachments:

  • Measurement Committee Recommendation

Measurement Committee recommends the approval of Beacon Composites as a licensed builder. 

Caveats on the recommendation:


  • Station 2 beam – required to be in tolerance on second and succeeding hulls.
  • Station 1 beam – consideration to be given for permanent variance as long as measurement is not less than 19-1/8” minimum. 
  • Beacon to provide measurements of Station 1 & 2 beam for the foreseeable future on second and succeeding hulls until released from this requirement by the Chief Measurer.
  • Multiple fasteners should be used on between the gratings and rails: two at all the narrow (1 1/2″) slats, three at the wider (2 1/2 or 3” slats), and 5 at the mast thwart.



Permanent amendment to the TCA Bylaws: 

Bylaws, Article XIV – HONORARY AWARDS, 2.1:


  1. d) The following chevron colors shall denote the Honor Awards as follows:

(1) National Championship-gold.

(2) Mid-Winter East and West Championships-silver.

(3) Inter-District Championship-blue.

(4) District Championship-red

(5) Youth National Championship-green.

(6) Women’s National Championship-purple.




Temporary amendment to the TCA Bylaws, for 2021 only: 

Paragraph 8.  Section e. 3.  Subsection (aa)

(aa) Non quota year:

  • Sail as skipper-helmsperson in at least one chevron event: MWW, MWE, Interdistrict championship in 2019, 2020, or 2021, or sail in Nationals in 2019.
  • Sail as skipper-helmsperson in 2 additional regattas or sail 3 fleet race days in 2019, 2020, or 2021 and,
  1. Notify the District Governor and petition the First Vice President in writing that items 3(aa)(i) – (iii) have been accomplished, noting the qualifying events.


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