J/80 hull #1 still going strong in the Northwest photos by Jan Anderson
Race Report by: Lek Dimarucot
The J/80 West Coast Championship was held on Oct 9 and 10 as part of the Puget Sound Sailing Championship organized by the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. While several local teams couldn’t make it to the event, eight boats raced in the regatta.
Conditions varied widely, from strong breeze and choppy seas on Saturday (more typical of fall racing in Puget Sound), to calm, sunny weather with
variable wind on Sunday.
Emre “John” Sezer’s Reckless (USA 296) took bullets in all three races on Saturday, holding back Lek Dimarucot’s Underdog (USA 85) who finished second in every race. As the wind strengthened from the low teens to over 25 knots, crews and boats were tested and only half of the fleet completed the last
race of the day. Among many other incidents experienced by the fleet, Reckless tore a spinnaker and Underdog broke their vang after a knockdown.
Crews kept a lookout for a beluga whale rarely encountered in the Sound but recently reported to be in the area, but thankfully the wayward cetacean steered clear of the racecourse. It would have been hard to spot in the heavy chop, sea spray, and later pelting rain which the fleet encountered on Saturday.
The weather was a lot more sedate the following day. Because of the variable wind conditions, the race committee was only able to run two races, one in a southeasterly wind and the other in a northwesterly.
Charles and Sarah Hampson’s High Five (USA 333) won first place in both Sunday races, gaining a spot on the podium despite missing the last race on Saturday. Although Underdog finished second in both Sunday races, posting a consistent 2-2-2-2-2 scoreboard over the weekend, However, Reckless’ wall of bullets erected on Saturday proved impenetrable and Underdog took second overall.
Reckless won the West Coast Championship, despite John Sezer being overseas on another sailing adventure. “Wow, what a showing,” said a thankful John to his team, which included David Rogers, Kelly Moon, and Marc-Andrea Klimaschewski. What better proof is there that John has gathered a deep
bench of talent than Reckless winning the championship while he was away.
Pacific Northwest Fleet 18, together with the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle, has hosted the West Coast Championship since 2018. The local J/80 fleet has been rapidly growing in recent years, fueled not only by private owners discovering how much fun it is to race in a J/80, but also by sailing clubs who use the boat for introductory sailing lessons.
Photos of the event, including other fleets racing, can be found here.
Left to right front row: Zeke Horowitz, Thomas Klok, Marie Crump and helmsman Will Crump celebrate winning the 2021 J/80 North American Championship. Those are the Crump girls and event PRO Sharon Hadsell in the background assisting with the awards presentation.
Will Crump and his R80 team of Thomas Klok, Marie Crump, and North Sail’s Zeke Horowitz (tactics), won the 2021 J/80 North American Championship with a low score of 14 points. This is Crump’s second J/80 Championship having also won in 2013 at Block Island. The Crumps are a family affair with Marie Crumps brother, Thomas Klok - a two time winner as well, a part owner and integral part of the team.
Hosted by Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, under beautiful but light air conditions, the 23-boat fleet was missing our Canadian members and our international class measurers due to Covid travel restrictions, which, by the way, had caused the cancellation of the 2020 championship. However, strong representation from fleet 1 NH, Fleet 12 Massachusetts, Fleet 9 Newport RI and boats as far away as Detroit complemented local fleet 10 Chesapeake boats. Local knowledge of the tricky currents paid off with the top 5 boats all from the Chesapeake fleet.
Crump and his crew dominated with 2,1,1,7,2,2,1,5 finishes in the 8 races held over the 3 days of racing just south of the Bay Bridge. Whether the wind blew out of the north, as it did on day 1, or the south as a light seabreeze filled in on day 2 and 3, R80 consistently started well, picked the favored side, hitting the shifts and exhibiting relentless boat speed.
Meltemi, USA 60, helmed by Michael Hobson, was second overall with 23 points. Hobson also consistently launched off the start line and competitors quickly learned not to start near him or be relegated to the second row - his worst race was a 5 (throwout). He just edged out USA 1313, Turbo Sloth, helmed by Daniel Wittig,(24 points). JR Maxwell on 1150 Scamp was fourth overall and Chesapeake fleet captain Shannon Lockwood on Shenanigans was 5th. For complete scores go to Yachtscoring.com
EYC was a tremendous host, completely opening their club to visitors, and smoothly managing the obligatory boat/crew weigh-in and launch and haul. Kegs of free beer, and after racing parties with a barbecue added to the camaraderie the class is known for. Race organizers had post-race expert panel of sailmakers and pros to overview the racing and answer competitor questions. EYC even used GPS tracker phone apps from Kwindoo to record the boats tracks and progress.
Photos of the event can be found on Will Keyworth’s web page willkeyworth.smugmug.com.
The 2022 North Americans will be held in Newport, RI next September. Sail Newport will be managing NAs as a back to back competition in conjunction with the 2022 J/80 Worlds next October. A single weigh-in and measurement for both championships along with boat storage between competitions is expected to contribute to a large fleet in Newport.
Again, Congratualtions to the R80 Team!
Kudos to EYC for holding a first class event.