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This is a special North Crew installment for one of the original North Tigers, Jim Allsopp. A legend throughout the sailing industry, Jim Allsopp lost his courageous battle with cancer this past Saturday, March 12th. It was Jim’s leadership and positivity that helped shape North Sails into the company it is today.
Jim’s legacy with North Sails dates back to the mid 1970’s. For all who knew him, Jim was incredibly understated about his sailing success. A Star World Champion, there wasn’t a major sailing event he didn’t participate in or win: America’s Cup, Volvo, Fastnet, Admirals Cup, IOR, IMS, IRC, One Design, Cruising boats, Classics, Superyachts…Jim simply did it all with a dedication to North Sails and his fellow North Sails employees like no other.
Jim was the master consensus builder, and he had to be, because Jim had more ideas than often could be managed – which made his transition from successful Loft Manager in Annapolis to North Sails Marketing Director so obvious. He was literally full of many of the ideas that helped shape modern sailmaking and certainly shaped North Sails into what it is today. With a personality as big as Jim’s, the sky was the limit.
He had an interest in bringing new, young people to North Sails and sailing in general. Case in point is his brother-in-law Mike Toppa, a bit of a protege for Jim a while back and now a leading representative at North Sails. Jim’s son James, now a sales rep at North Sails in Annapolis, is living proof that Jim wanted to keep North Sails going strong with young, committed talent.
Jim was the type of person about whom you could literally write a book. Know that the sailing world will mourn as well as toast this great man with more “Jimmy” stories than any of us could imagine. With a smile and a laugh that will stick with all who knew him, the vision and positive impression he left on so many of us will live on forever.
Jim is survived by his incredible wife Holley and two sons, Cole and James. Sail on, Jim.