Thistle – A Hail from the Rail

Ann JonesFleet News, Hoover Sailing Club, Leadline

KILE KING IS OUR NEWEST FLEET MEMBER. Kile acquired Caitlynn Seymour’s wood Thistle recently. Welcome to the Fun Fleet, Kile!

THISTLE NATIONALS were raced at Sandpoint, Idaho on July 21-26. Sixty-six (66) boats competed, with 33 in the Championship Division and 33 in the Commodores’ Division. On Monday, two very windy races were completed. Tuesday saw the completion of the third race in more moderate winds. Then the fleets were split. On Wednesday, the wind was high again, and two more races were completed. Finally on Thursday the seventh, and last race was run in lighter air. Some results of note include:

Championship Division

1. Greg Griffin
2. Scott Meyer
3. Paul Abdullah
4. Jesse Shedden
5. Doug Kaukeinen
6. Tom Lawton
7. Sam Ingham
8. Scott Griffin
9. Mike Gillum
10. Matt, Stu & Lisa Fisher
14. Tom Hubbell, Betsy & John Yingling
18. Conor Ruppen, Carrie Patterson, Kevin Tschantz
21. Mike McBride, Larry Liggett, Sarah Bonner   


1. Kevin Arrow
2. Liz Barker
3. Louis Phillips
4. Chris Gednose
5. Neal Freeland
6. Wayne Balsiger
7. Steve, Rachel & Erin Lavender

Unfortunately, Erin Lavender had work and scheduling difficulties and could not participate in Monday’s heavy-air races, so Steve and Rachel had to double hand–talk about survival sailing! Steve also described how the boats were picked up manually and launched from the beach. Then Mike McBride filled us in on how much fun they had unpacking and packing up the triple-decker trailer, and he also told us how relaxing it was to have Friday off (because the wind was too light to race). She also described the very laid-back awards banquet. It sounded like everybody had a great time. And next year, our Thistle Nationals will be raced in Cleveland, so everybody needs to show up!

RACE COMMITTEE DUTY took precedence over competing in the August 21 Pursuit Race. Thanks to all who willingly stepped up and did their duty. Team Lavender raced, but Wally was wounded. (Steve, take Wally to the veterinarian ASAP because he needs care and therapy if he is to survive to fight another day!) Eleven-year-old Reed Schworm, who frequently crews with dad, David, also competed in the Pursuit Race, bravely leading the way in his beautiful “mythical” Sunfish. Reed received special recognition for competing. Afterward, I asked Reed, “So how does it feel to be in front of all those boats in the Pursuit Race?” And Reed replied, “It felt like they were bearing down on me!” Then he proceeded to do his homework during Wednesday evening dinner.

Thanks to Fleet Captain Mike Bride for a scoring incentive, those who had Race Committee duty on Monday were able to average their scores over both days.  The winners were: 1.Team Lavender; 2. Team McNitt; 3. Team Clyde; 4.Team Miller, and 5. Team Schworm.

9/7-8 International Old Goat, Lake Lanier, GA – 34 boats competed in 4 races. The winning team was Paul and Marie Abdullah and Don Reed.

9/7-8 Harvest Moon, Atwood, OH – 14 boats sailed 3 races. 1. Jack Finefrock; 2. Liz Barker; 10. Mike McBride, Reed & David Schworm, and 12. Team Tschantz.

9/7-8 Blow Hard, Cowan,OH – 14 boats competed. Andy Lawrence came in first, followed by Bryant Walker and Steve Lavender.

9/14-15 Dornin Memorial, Pymatuming, PA – 12 boats did 5 races. 1. Ryan Anstrom; 2. George Pearsall; 5. Team Lavender, and 7. Team McBride.

9/21 Johnson Memorial, Lake Chautauqua, NY – With 7 boats competing, Steve Lavender won, and Jack Finefrock was second.

9/27-28 Icebreaker, Crescent, MI – 14 boats raced 4 races on Saturday, but there were no races on Sunday. Craig Kolschalk won, Ken Swetka was second, and Champ Glover came in third.

October 5, North Cape Blow-Out, LaSalle, MI
October 12, Edgewater Regatta, Cleveland, OH, contact Bob France at
October 6, Sunday Races
October 13, Sunday Races
October 19, Last Splash Regatta, Hoover
October 20 Sunday Races, THISTLE RACE COMMITTEE
October 26, Docks Out, 8 AM, Annual Meeting, Lunch
November 10, Sunday, Annual Banquet