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2017 Thistle Nationals
Thistles descended on the challenging Lake Chautauqua for the 2017 Nationals with North Sails taking top positions at Women’s, Youth, President, and Open Nationals Championship Divisions.
The 2017 Thistle Nationals was a big success with close to 90 boats on Lake Chautauqua in New York. Past U.S. Sailing President, Tom Hubbell, hosted the event out of the town park in Mayville, NY. With so many boats and no physical clubhouse, the event base was at a public park so it had a different social feel than other events we’ve seen. Throughout the week sailors were tested throughout a variety of weather conditions, keeping things interesting and exciting on the water.
The regatta festivities were casual and fun. Two of the nights, the local fire department hosted a BBQ for the competitors which was a big hit. Another night we took the Chautauqua Bell (a classic steam paddle wheel boat) over to event organizer Tom Hubbell’s home for a neighborhood dinner which made for a nice evening with our fellow competitors. PRO Matt Bounds had his hands full, not only with 90 boats but also in dealing with a shifty inland lake conditions. It’s one thing to manage a shifty small lake with a small fleet, yet another to set good courses and complete a series successfully with so many boats. Matt pulled it off well, and the sailors were happy to get some great racing in.
Each morning about an hour before we launched, Paul Abdullah and I hosted Coffee with North and provided sailors with some tips for the day under the North tent. The crowd was quite large, with roughly 140 sailors tuned-in, so the tips session was moved under the main regatta tent to accommodate everyone. Between the North U Clinic, the Women’s and Junior Nationals, the practice day, and 5 days of championships style racing, it was an intensive week of Thistle sailing. Managing the shifty and puffy conditions while maintaining boat speed and making good tactical decisions were key topics of each group discussion.
Thanks to the Chautauqua Yacht Club and the Thistle Class Association for organizing a great event. Congrats to our clients for your hard work at Nationals last week and your dedication to the Thistle Class!