Racing is Back

For all that the pandemic turned the world upside down, the summer of 2020 proved to be a surprisingly good one for sailing. Sales of boats—both new and used—went through the roof, and sailors everywhere found ways of getting out on the water, either alone or with friends and family as part of their personal “bubble.” One kind of sailing, though, that didn’t fare so well was racing. Granted, local sailors did their best to find alternatives. But with the exception of the America’s Cup and Vendée Globe, major regattas everywhere had to be put on hold—which only served to make it that much more fun being able to compete again in 2021.

Thistle Nationals

Photo courtesy of Tim Wilkes/Thistle Class

Hosted by the Cleveland Yacht Club and held on the unpredictable, occasionally tempestuous waters of Lake Erie, this year’s Thistle National Championship regatta also served as the class’s 75th-anniversary celebration. Designed by Sandy Douglass, more than 4,000 boats have gone down the ways since the first Thistle set sail in 1945. In addition to providing great racing aboard a great little boat, the Thistle class is renowned for attracting some of the friendliest, most welcoming sailors around. No great surprise, it looks like they had a pretty good time at this year’s nationals…

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