The International Thunderbird Class Association is the governing body of the Thunderbird Sailboat. The purpose of the organization is to promote and develop the Thunderbird class under uniform rules. The Read More ...
The ITCA will be holding it’s annual meeting Saturday February 20th in the Sequim Bay Yacht Club meeting room at the John Wayne Marina Building. The room is located on the main floor of the building. All Thunderbird owners and people interested in Thunderbirds are invited to attend. The meeting agenda is as follows:
Call to Order
Minutes of last meeting
Reports of officers, committees and fleets
Old Business 2017 Internationals in Port Townsend
New Business – Vote on proposed black book amendment regarding mast
Election of officers – VP and Treasurer slots are open
Appointment of Measurement Committee
Please be sure to email your ballots in if you cannot attend the meeting.2016-Lead-in-mast-Ballot
The ITCA is currently working on a proposal for an amendment to the specifications to remove the weight requirement. A current proposal would be to eliminate section 7.2 .
A little background on the issue; The Thunderbird was originally designed with a wooden mast. With the advent of modern materials, specifications for aluminum masts were developed and the new lighter material took off. In an effort to keep boats with wooden masts competitive, minimum weight and center of gravity points for the aluminum masts were created.
The result was that most aluminum masts require corrector lead weights to be legal. There are currently very few Thunderbirds with wooden masts that are actively racing. The added weight, particularly aloft does nothing positive for the performance of the boat and does add to the potential pitching motion.
One downside to the change is that a number of boats have sleeved masts. While the center of gravity of these masts is identical to others, they are actually carrying less weight aloft. The change would put these boats potentially at a slight disadvantage. Also, some of the Australian masts which are stiffer and by nature a little heavier without the corrector weights would weigh a bit more. Anyone who has raced with or against 1255 Predator probably isn’t worried about that!
The argument in favor of the proposal is that adding the weight to the mast does nothing positive for the performance of the Thunderbird and in fact is detrimental.
What do you think? We are interested in all opinions both pro and con.
Membership will be allowed to vote on the issue at the AGM meeting on February 20th.
by Edward Josberger
While Saturday, July 25, brought a welcome respite to the 90 F heat wave that enveloped Western Washington, the racing at the T-Bird Rendezvous and Regatta sizzled. Twelve “Birds” convened at their primordial home, the Gig Harbor BoatShop for some low key racing and high level partying. The event was co-hosted by Thunder bird Fleet 1 and the Gig Harbor Boat Shop and both groups are looking forward to more cooperation and collaboration.
The racing on Saturday was like speed dating. Short courses located at the North end of the harbor and strong gusty winds kept the fleet together and in each others way all around the course. Also, the fleet elected to sail under white. There was no time to stretch out the fleet. In fact, the first race was over in 15 minutes. In a couple of hours, six races later, the race committee and sailors had had enough and returned to the BoatShop for a well-deserved libation.
The ensuing party at the Boat Shop brought together not only T-birders but also the Gig Harbor sailing community and its friends. It was a perfect evening in a magical setting, the lasagna dinner and deserts from fellow T-Birders, Mike and Suzanne Tunney, were outstanding, stories were told and probably enhanced a little. Trophies were awarded and 4 of Ed’s model T-birds were distributed by lottery. The evening wrapped up with a presentation by Mark Hoppen, son of Ed Hoppen, on life in the boat shop and the impact of the Thunderbird design and success on subsequent sail boats.
To wrap things up, on Sunday a smaller fleet raced from the mouth of Gig Harbor to Pt Richmond, 3.5 miles to the north. With 4-6 knots of breeze from the south east, it was ideal for a spinnaker broad reach to the mark. The trick was to find favorable current and to play the wind shifts. Of course having an auto pilotmakes flying the chute a lot easier for the short handed crews.
Results of races at the Rendezvous Regatta July 25, 2015
Boat Number Total Place
Fandango 9 10 1
Warrior 1198 17 2
Swan 1008 20 3
Magic Bus 1069 23 4
Valkerie 974 37 5
Snowbird 1020 37 6
Orca 1264 46 7
Hussy II 953 50 8
Kyie 11 51 9
Whitebird 1031 56 10
Yare 100 60 11
TuTush 39 71 12
It’s been awhile but the ITCA is back up and running so is our new website! The website needs some tweaking but it should be a better conduit for getting information out to our members and to the general public. If you have suggestions, pictures, stories, events, or corrections on the history of the Thunderbird, please send those to us.