Thursday, May 5, 2011

How J/80 GULDFAXE Won Annapolis NOOD

J/80 sailors from Denmark- sailing Annapolis and winningBy the Slimmest of Margins- Mike Lovett at SAILING WORLD interviewed the crew of Tom Klok's J/80 GULDFAXE that just won a three-way tie for first in the J/80 class and earned the overall victory at the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD.  After a weekend of big breeze and dramatic wind shifts on Chesapeake Bay, you might not expect an out-of-towner to come out on top of the Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD, where members of the Capital City's strong racing community accounted for the majority of the 220-boat fleet. Nonetheless, when the overall winner was announced, it was Copenhagen resident Thomas Klok—whose team won a three-way tie for first place in the 29-boat J/80 division—who came bounding up to accept the silver dish, as well as the real prize, an invitation to join the winners of seven other NOOD regattas at the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Championship, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands this November.

The Guldfaxe team has a unique dynamic. Klok is the owner/ main trimmer. His brother-in-law, Will Crump, drives the boat. Klok's sister, Marie Crump, handles foredeck duties. The trio also works together in the management consulting business, which is why they refer to fourth crew member, Scott Collins, as their therapist. "A lot of people wonder how we can work together and sail together," says Will Crump. "Somehow, we make it work. I think it's because we can be honest with each other. Sometimes, it's hard for family members who sail together to be honest with each other about what needs to change."

SW: What were your expectations coming into the event?

Will Crump: There were three world champions in the fleet, and this is probably the toughest J/80 regatta in the U.S. this year. So we didn't have great expectations, aside from looking at it as practice, because we'll be going to Copenhagen for the worlds later this year.

Klok: We got the boat about a year ago for the worlds in Newport (R.I.). I lived in Newport for a few years, and when found out the worlds would be in my home turf two years in a row...So we did the worlds in Newport last October, then we left the boat here and sailed Charleston Race Week and this event, then we'll be shipping the boat to Denmark in about a week.

SW: With the worlds in Newport last year, there was a lot of enthusiasm for the J/80 in the U.S. Have you noticed a tapering off since then?

Will Crump: Not at all. It's actually ramped up. People came out of that event saying, "What a phenomenal boat and class." There's still a lot of development going on in the class. There a lot of difference between what the various sailmakers are offering, yet everyone's going about the same speed. So there's a lot of opportunity for people to get into the class and have fun figuring out the boat.   Read more here at Sailing World's forum site.