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Sandpoint is one of those special places. If you have been waiting for the "PLACE" to make a long drive to a nationals this just might be the year.
Sandpoint is a former mining and logging town and is now best known as a vacation location. The town is located between the Cabinet and Selkirk Mountains, on one of the largest lakes west of the Mississippi, and within 9 miles of the second largest ski area (good info just in case it snows in July) in Idaho. With convenient hiking, camping, good food, and a rich music and art culture, Sandpoint, in the summer, has a lot to offer as a location for the 2019 Thistle Nationals.
The sailing will be more small lake than ocean but the lake is still large enough to provide reliable breeze. Plan on a little bit of everything. And, you can see the bottom of the lake at 20 feet and, in July, it is warm enough to swim in. This will also be one of those Nationals where - depending on where you stay - you will be able to park your car at the beginning of the week and not touch it until the regatta is over. Shopping, groceries, and dining are all with-in walking distance of the sailing site.
The regatta will be hosted by Sandpoint Sailing Association (SSA) and the Seattle Thistle fleet at held City Beach Park. City Beach is beautiful public beach located in the center of the city. Founded in 1996, SSA has hosted a number of district and regional sailing events and has a proud history of sailing and fun on the water. There are convenient hotels, condos, and camping to accommodate most budgets. See below for housing options.
One note - we already have 37 boats pre-registered and Sandpoint is definitely a resort town. It gets busy in the summer. If you are thinking of attending please be sure to register soon and make reservations early.
Click below for the registration page. Early entry expires on March 15th.
Lots of options from $10 a night camping to waterfront - and walkable to the sailing site - condo bliss.
Click HERE to learn all you need to know about getting here, on-site registration, launching, storage and leaving (if you still want to after a week in Sandpoint - many people don't).
Wind trends and other things
We will be using Coral Reef Sailing Apparel for all the regatta gear. We will only have a limited amount of gear at the regatta so you may want to order ahead to make sure you get the sizes and styles you want.
Although Sandpoint is centrally located to almost all locations in the USA, Canada and Mexico it is still a long way from most places. If you need help with the logistics of getting your boat to Sandpoint and want to share the costs please click below. John Howell is organizing a clearing house of people who have double deck trailers and those looking for a ride for their boat. He is also hoping to hear from anyone willing to lend a double deck trailer.
Sandpoint is a vacation town. Last minute reservations WILL be difficult - especially for in-town Air BnBs, the Edgewater Hotel and the Season's Condos - which are right at the sailing venue.
Our recommendation - make a reservation now - you can always cancel. Having said that there are several great housing options.
We have reserved a group camp area for tent campers as well as 20 private sites at the Bonner County Fairgrounds Camp Sites. Both camping areas are adjacent to each other. PLEASE NOTE THAT AS OF APRIL 3RD THE RV SITES ARE SOLD OUT. THERE ARE STILL PLENTY OF TENT SITES AVAILABLE. This campground is about 3 miles from the sailing venue while still being close to shopping and restaurants, and has both tent camping area and regular grown-up type of spots for RVs (or tents for more privacy) that want electrical and water. The sites do not have grey or black water hook-ups but there is a dump station on site.
There are, of course, showers, wifi, and plenty of space to roam around. Important for on the boat cooperation and long term team cohesiveness.
And for you mountain and road bikers the campground is very close to the climb up to Schweizter Mountain Resort - 9 miles and 2,400 feet of climbing. Ride it on the road or on the dirt - up to you. Either way it is hard but the view is fantastic (or you can just drive there too - it is a lot easier).
Tent camping is a $10 per night. Tent camping does not require a deposit but does require a reservation and you can make a reservations by calling or emailing the contact below - let her know you are affiliated with the Thistle Nationals under the name of "Chambers".
One other consideration for the campers - parking at the City Beach sailing venue - will be limited. We are going to ask all the campers to buddy up and car pool each morning - more complicated we know but what we need to do to have Nationals in Sandpoint.
Hotels and Condos:
For the non-campers you have lots of options - several of which are with in walking distance of the sailing venue. In fact, the Edgewater Hotel and the Season's Condos are right at the sailing venue. A big advantage of these locations is you get a parking spot - a nice thing to have. The other - the view is fantastic.
For the Edgewater Hotel they have a block of rooms reserved for us. You must ask for the Thistle Nationals.
Another great condo option is Condo del Sol - a seven minute walk to the sailing venue. There are other convenient options as well.
For more info about the best Condo option for you contact our official Condo housing sponsor - Sandpoint Vacation Rentals (208) 263-7570 or www.sandpointvacationrentals.com). Tell them you are with the Nationals.
If you want to stay right at the sailing site - your boat literally at the back door of your hotel room - please contact the Best Western Edgewater Hotel: http://www.bestwesternedgewater.com
For the Edgewater Hotel they have a block of rooms reserved for us. You must ask for the Thistle Nationals room block.
If you want save some clams and still stay in town - about a five minute walk from the sailing site - contact the La Quinta Inn - Sandpoint. It is near the sailing, the restaurants, and grocery stores: http://www.laquintasandpoint.com/
Another resource for other options - many still in town: https://www.sandpointonline.com/visitor/index.html
Friday, July 19th, 2019
Saturday, July 20th, 2019
Sunday, July 21st, 2019
Monday, July 22nd, 2019
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019
Wednesday July 24th. 2019
Thursday July 25th, 2019
Friday July 26th, 2019
We want to make sure everyone understands boat storage during the regatta. Like a few other nationals - most notably Sayville - boats will be stored on the beach in assigned spaces at City Beach City Park. Trailers will be stored off-site during the regatta.
All the boats stored along the beach will create quite a spectacle for all the tourists who often frequent other parts of the beach. Your boat will be lined up in the area west and north of the large swim area and directly in-front of the Edgewater Hotel.
So, a couple of thoughts to make sure this works well for everyone. Only about 33% of the designated spots will be right along the water. The rest of the spots will require the boats to be moved down to the water for launching - not far but far enough that we will need to put those boats on a dolly to get them in the water. We will have several dollies on hand to make this easy.
If you have one you may want to bring your own dolly – even better if it has wheels that work in the sand. You will not have to wait for the shared dollies and this will help minimize wait times for others. It will also protect your boat's bottom. Other options to protect your boat bottom could include bottom covers and/or your basic swim floats or other padding. A dolly is certainly not required.
A note about security. This is a public beach with public access. We will fence off the boat storage area and believe the area is secure but there is no guarantee. One recommendation is to bring one of those large plastic jobsite tool (dock boxes) boxes for all your boat stuff. These can be locked and also purchased at Home Depot or Lowe’s for pretty cheap ($65).
Finally, if you have them, we want you to bring regatta flags. You know, the ones you won for winning your club championships. Since the boats will be right in front of the hotel and on full display, we thought it would be cool to have everyone bring flags and hoist them after racing each day. It will look good for the tourists and we can all get some cool pictures with the boats, flags, lake and mountains in the background.
Flying: The nearest major airport - about 85 miles is Spokane. Lots fo flights through Seattle, Salt Lake, Minneapolis or Denver.
More info coming soon. Click on the image above for historical wind data for Sandpoint
For more info click on this link to SailFlow. This monitoring station is at the end of the pier adjacent to the sailing center.