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The Countdown Begins. One Week Until Thistle MWE!

Posted by on February 20, 2015

Thistle Sailing + St. Pete = Memories - Paul Abdullah      

Ahhhh. Thistle Midwinters East. One week away!

This event will always provides great memories for you and your team. In fact, some of my first Thistle Sailing memories include road-tripping down to St. Pete as a kid and enjoying some great racing in the daytime and terrific nightlife of St. Pete. Not much has changed in that goal...but plenty has changed around St. Pete in the last 20 years!

If this is your 1st MWE, enjoy it! A lot will happen this week and you'll get your money's worth out of the trip, for sure! Just be sure you take in some of the sights, sounds and opportunities to learn. That's the beauty of Thistle sailing. You can learn with every outing.

Our team of sailmakers has been busy the past several weeks fulfilling orders in anticipation of this event and the Orange Peel. We look forward to delivering these sails. If you were thinking about ordering, but felt it was too late, you have until Wednesday to order mainsails and jibs as we built some extra for stock.

From a support standpoint, be sure to lean on us should you have any question about sailing this week. From sail trim to sailing strategy to the best spots for a late night beverage. Our support team has over 40 MWE's under their belt. We've seen it all. Skip Dieball, Mike Stark and I will be running through the boat park. Scott Griffin and Craig Koschalk, who have been involved in our development, will also be at MWE and always willing to help.

Skip will be in a motorboat this week with Jeff Eiber. They will be assisting with the Coach TCA program, so be sure to sign up! They'll be armed with a video camera and sharing our observations from the support boat. Tom Hubble does a great job with the Coach TCA program and we are again happy to support his and the class's efforts.

- Paul

What to pack - Skip Dieball

From a gear standpoint, MWE can throw everything your way. You'll definitely want to hedge on the side of overpacking on the sailing gear.

What I generally bring is:

  • Base Layer (Lycra or PolyPro)
  • Mid Layer (Fleece)
  • Light Spray Top
  • Heavy Spray Top
  • Bibs/Salopettes
  • Hiking pants
  • Hats & Gloves
  • Shorts & PolyTec Shirts

From a boat packing perspective, you'll definitely want to create a checklist that includes everything for the boat. Little things like sheet lines, tiller extensions, wind indicators, etc. all seem to find their way off the boat, so be sure you have a complete list and you pack early. Since we will have a number of support personnel on-site, be sure you have your tuning journal/notes so that we can assist in getting you set up, regardless of the type of sails you have.

One thing you'll want to try and keep in mind. Although you might not expect a road breakdown, you want to be ready. Lug wrenches, jacks, bearings, trailer straps, extra tie-downs are all good things to have ready. Though there are a number of chandleries and automotive shops in St. Petes, they aren't always open convenient to our regatta schedule

Where to go...some essentials - Skip Dieball

The one thing that veterans of MWE know is that there are a few good dinner spots that are greatly anticipated. If it is your first time, consider some of the places close to the sailing center that we've enjoyed over the years:


  • Pete YC Brunch
  • Dome Grill (561 Central Ave)
  • Central Coffee Shop (530 Central Ave)
  • Starbucks (199 1st Ave)


  • St. Pete Yacht Club Bar
  • Lucky Dill (277 Central Ave)
  • Courigan's (1 Beach Drive)

Dinner (there are many, but here are a few)

  • Ceviche Tapas (10 Beach Dr.)
  • Red Mesa Cantina (128 3rd St.)
  • Midtown Sundries (200 1st Ave S.)
  • BellaBrava (204 Beach Dr. S.)
  • of course St. Pete Yacht Club has great dinners!

Lunch/Groceries for Sailing

  • Publix (250 3rd St. S.)


  • Detroit Liquors (201 Central Ave)

Service on site - Mike Stark

Short of packing a sewing machine, we will have everything you need for a quick repair in our loft van, which will be on site. Please feel free to contact any of the Dieball reps if you need any assistance. We are here to make your week enjoyable and low stress!

If you are thinking about some upgrades to your rigging, let us know ahead of time. We have mainsheets, jib sheets, spin sheets, bow bags, boomwhoopies and miscellaneous parts that we can pack for you. Just give us a call at the loft before Wednesday: 419-726-2933

Mike Stark - 419-277-3625

Paul Abdullah - 904-571-6051

Skip Dieball - 419-392-4411

Dieball Sailing

Dieball Sailing is the newest and freshest sailmaking group in the United States. Born from years of work with the larger sail lofts, in 2009 we decided it was time to do our own thing. We love what we do! It is our passion and it is our commitment to you to help with your sailing passion | | 5556 Edgewater Drive Toledo OH USA | 419-726-2933

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