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.