Qualifying complete at Thistle Nationals
Published on July 28th, 2015
Fort Walton Beach, FL (July 28, 2015) – Light winds on day two of the Thistle Class National Championship kept the 50-boat fleet ashore under postponement, but soon provided enough blow to complete the final qualifying race. Winning the race and taking the overall lead after three races is John Baker with crew Joy Martin and Aaron Holland, while day one leader Mike Ingham trails by one point and Paul Abdullah trails by two points. The seven race series is scheduled for July 27-31.
Report by Kyle Finefrock, Thistle Class President:
Today started out a lot like day one. We were warned that we would most likely have to wait for the sea breeze to come in, so we hosted our Class Association Annual Meeting. Although numbers are a little down for the Nationals regatta, the class continues to show stability with exceptional numbers in pockets around the country. Those who chose to stay home this week because they thought it would be hot really missed the boat, literally!
The shore time has been filled with plenty of time swimming and floating off the Fort Walton Yacht Club beach. This has truly been the best of both worlds, sailing and summer vacation!
As we sailed to the race course, the southerly breeze seemed a little light, but with key anticipation by the race committee the wind locked into its sea breeze direction and began to pump!
“I sit back there and steer, if they tell me to tack, I tack, if they don’t, I go straight,” commented race winner and regatta leader John Baker. “The key to the day was connecting the dots,” added his crew Aaron Holland. “The pressure and angle appeared to take us right, but we were looking for pockets of pressure.” Forward crew Joy Martin added they they “learned a lot more about fishing than we ever expected!”
The joke of the day was that the competitors’ radio channel had been picked up by a group of fisherman discussing everything from “four hour charters” to “what it takes to get an old boat going again”. Apparently the answer is “oil, a can of Bud Light, and some Viagra!”