Welcome to the Seattle Thistle Fleet #61 CYC Seattle page
The Thistle is a beautiful, high performance racing dinghy that combines grace with speed. Designed in 1945 by American designer Sandy Douglas, the boat and class continue to thrive and are raced by dedicated enthusiasts and enjoyed by families alike. The boat has a planing hull and will plane in 10-12 knots of breeze, but it also moves well in light winds and will outperform many larger boats in these conditions. The Thistle has been recognized by US Sailing as one of the most active one-design classes in the U.S. One of the first performance dinghies, the Thistle features a classic plumb bow flowing to a wide, flat planing stern and a high sail area to weight ratio. The result is a boat that is fun and responsive in a wide variety of conditions.
The original Thistles were constructed of cold molded plywood, using a technique pioneered during WW1 for aircraft construction and used in WWII for PT boats. Wood Thistles remain strong and competitive to this day. Thistle #1 consistently places well in regattas and won the national championship in 1990, forty-five years after it was built. The modern Thistle has updated hardware, spars and rigging but remains true to its one-design principles. New Thistles are still available, and while newly built Thistle hulls are made of fiberglass with built-in flotation, the strict one design specifications help ensure that older wood or glass Thistles remain competitive. One can typically find competitive older fiberglass boats starting around $2500, with newer boats available for around $10,000 when they come onto the market.
The Seattle Thistle Fleet (Fleet #61) is very active, we often have 20 or more boats racing on Lake Washington. Racing experience ranges from novice to expert. The Seattle fleet is home to 2007 Thistle National Women’s Champion, Haley Lhamon, and other former collegiate sailors and top local racers. Skippers and crew of all skill levels are welcome. Our racing schedule (see bottom of this page) includes races on Lake Washington sailed from Leschi on most Wednesdays from mid-April to mid-September, and several “traveling” regattas to great racing venues in the Pacific Northwest. In 2011 we completed 55 Wednesday evening races! Travelling regattas are at fabulous venues such as Sequim Bay, Fern Ridge Reservoir, and Yale Lake. The Seattle fleet usually fields multiple teams who travel to the national regatta, which is held in a different venue around the country each year.
The best way to experience the great competition and camaraderie of Thistle racing is come out and try it! Wednesday nights in the summer are Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle races. Many fleet members store their boats at the north docks at Leschi Marina on Lake Washington. The address is near 320 Lake Washington Blvd, just North of the commercial buildings — stop by any Wednesday evening from mid April to mid September around 5Pm to meet the fleet, or contact us to arrange for to come out crewing for one of our teams and see for yourself what a great boat the Thistle is and what a great fleet we have going here in Seattle. For 2012, four Tuesday evenings are designated as new crew and practice nights, for those that are new to dinghy racing and who would like to learn about Thistles.
Please contact fleet captain Eric Rayl at firstname.lastname@example.org or new member coordinator Jen Wisemore at Jen@wisemore.info for more information. Our group discussion list is at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/seattlethistlefleet.
Seattle Thistle Fleet #61 2013 Schedule
Jan 30 – Feb 3 Mid-Winters West (MBYC San Diego)
April 6 Float work party – Leschi
April 13 Rig, Tune, and Launch day, measuring for any unmeasured boats
Apr 17 – May 15 Lake Washington Wednesday Night Spring Series – 5 race nights
May 17 – 19 Sperry Top–Sider NOOD Regatta
May 22- Jun 26 Lake Washington Wednesday Night Interim Series – 6 race nights
May 25-26 Eugene Memorial Day Regatta - TRAVELING REGATTA
Jun 1 – 2 Vancouver Lake Sailing Club Regatta (Vancouver, WA)
June 15 – 16 Desert Regatta (Pasco) – TRAVELING REGATTA
June 22 – 23 Thistle Pacific Coast Championships (Huntington Lake, WA)
June 19 Seattle Thistle Fleet PIZZA NIGHT (Leschi)
July 6 – 7 PNW District Championships @ Flathead Lake Regatta (North Flathead YC, MT) - TRAVELING REGATTA
July 3 – Aug 14 Lake Washington Wednesday Night Summer Series (no racing on July 17 due to WIRW) – 6 race nights
July 20 – 21 Yale Lake Regatta (Cougar, WA) - TRAVELING REGATTA
Aug 3 – 9 Thistle National Championship (Sandusky, Ohio)
Aug 17–18 Sequim Bay Regatta (Sequim, WA) – FLEET #61 TRAVELING REGATTA hosted by Seattle Fleet - TRAVELING REGATTA
Aug 21- Sep 18 Lake Washington Wednesday Night Fall Series – 5 race nights
Sep 21 CYC Lake Washington Fall Regatta (Leschi)
Oct 5 – 6 CYC Puget Sound Sailing Championships (Shilshole)