Strong and Healthy for Thistle Nationals

Published on July 5th, 2017

The 73rd Thistle US National Championship will be held July 22-28 on Chautauqua Lake in Mayville, NY. With 92 entrants, this annual event is offering an optimistic barometer reading for this class which debuted in 1945.

Thirteen teams will be skippered by sailors who are 26 years old and under. These teams are taking advantage of the Thistle Class’s 501c3 Growth and Promotion fund in which donations given to this fund pay for the registration fees for this week-long regatta for the younger sailing teams.

Originally designed by Sandy Douglass, there will be many of the early hulls (#1, #603, #635, #779, #808, #870, #1010 and #1055) competing against the newest #4000 series fiberglass boat, with these older wooden hulls fully able to finish in the top 10 as previously demonstrated by Chris Klotz (#1) and Mike Gillum (#1010).

Competition is expected to be at a high level with past Thistle National Champions Mike Ingham, Brent Barbehenn, Eric Gesner, Lloyd Kitchen, Chris Klotz attending, with many of these skippers competing either with or alongside their children and spouses. A schedule of no more than two races a day provides a balance of racing and relaxing.

The regatta is being co-chaired by Tom Hubbell, past US Sailing President, and Don Emhardt of the Chautauqua Yacht Club. This regatta is being run out of a town park with the support of the village of Mayville and its community members, providing the non-sailors in the town with a good look at the sport.

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