Qualifying begins at Thistle Nationals
Published on May 16th, 2022
Jacksonville, FL (May 16, 2022) – The opening day of racing at the 2022 Thistle US National Championship completed two races for the 49 teams, with Mark Gise and his crew of Scott and Cameron Gise managing it best with a 2-2. However, the race winners are just behind with Daniel Hesse holding a 5-1 in second and Mike Ingham with a 1-7 in third.
The weather offered a slight respite from the high temperatures teams had experienced in advance of the event. The winds weren’t very strong, nor very stable, but the great Race Committee, led by Mark Foster, got the most out of a very tricky day.
The venue for this year’s event is the St. John’s River. Many times, Thistle sailors encounter “river sailing” as the many fleets around the USA evolved through the years. Today, the St. John’s lived up to the mystique of “river sailing”. With the big velocity and directional changes, the fleet had a quick current to deal with. Very tricky, to say the least.
As the boats raced all day, many different conditions would be found on many different parts of the race course. This meant looking beyond your current breeze and trying to predict the big picture and carefully place your boat with good timing on the next big puff. Fun and challenging would be good descriptions.
As with many legacy classes, the championship is as much about the people as it is the racing. Camaraderie is a constant in the Thistle Class and the fun in the boat park today matched the fun on the water. Many stories shared with many “hero to zero” moments.
Racing is planned for May 16-20, with the qualifying stage finishing tomorrow with the third race, and then the fleet is split into the Championship and President’s Divisions for four more races to conclude the series.