Harken Derm

Top 10 Favorite Moments from 2014 Thistle Nationals

Published on August 3rd, 2014

The Thistle is one of the classic classes that has the kind of heart that ‘new and improved’ can’t replicate. The triple-handed boat has a weight combination that lends itself well to men and women, parents and children. Thistles get passed through families like heirlooms.

The annual National Championship for the class was held in Sheboygan, WI on July 28-August 1, where 55 boats endured a challenging week on Lake Michigan. It is fair to say that on most days, the course won. However, for this edition, you could argue the class won too.

With two races planned for the final day, long-time class supporter Lloyd Kitchin with crew Brian Kitchin and Catia Kitchin held a slim six point lead. The Kitchin’s stumbled off the start in the first race, and were only able to dig back to 18th for the race. With one race remaining, 5 points separated the top 4 boats (Kitchin, Matt Fisher, Skip Dieball, and John Baker). With Baker winning the finale, Kitchin’s fifth place finish was enough to secure the overall win.

People celebrate the underdog. After finishing in the 20s a year ago, the Kitchin’s were popular winners. Click here for the event reports, and read below for the Top 10 Favorite Moments from the 2014 Thistle Nationals:

10. “First to puke” award given to Ryan Miller of #1115 (during starting sequence of the first race on Monday)
9. Colleen Brew’s admission that she had to Google “Thistle” to see what the boat looked like before nationals (First timer as forward crew and in 5th place)
8. Joy Martin asking attendees to stand if they had ever raced on a Thistle with a family member (almost everyone stood!)
7. Having Matt Fisher back in the Thistle Class!
7.a) Seeing Lincoln Baxter wear a kilt.
6. The story of Todd Wake and his son Doug, sailing the boat (710) that his Grandfather originally purchased in the 1950’s (3rd and 4th generation Thistlers!!!)
5. Having Chris Wilson, a 4th generation Thistle sailor, win his 3rd straight Junior National Championship.
4. Seeing several of the previous winners of the Milnes Trophy doing the “Turtle” during the ceremony, including this year’s winner, Lloyd Kitchin.
3. Having the Houpt Trophy, for highest finishing husband and wife team, go to a couple UNDER 30 (Brian and Catia Kitchin)
2. Seeing the Thistle National Championship go to a non-professional sailor who has dedicated his life to the Thistle Class.
1. Seeing the Valla Trophy for the highest finishing all family team, be presented to the ENTIRE Kitchin Family.

Thistle class website: http://www.thistleclass.com

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