Friday, December 16, 2016

Johnson Tops Jamin Jamaica J/22 Regatta!

J/22 sailors at retro party(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- For the 2016 edition of the Jamin’ Jamaica J/22 Regatta, there was a lot of early interest from possible teams from Trinidad, Puerto Rico and the usual suspects from the USA, Canada, Cayman Islands and the rest of Europe.  The Montego Bay YC and J/22 Fleet ended up welcoming four visiting teams, three repeats from Cayman Islands and a new team from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

J/22 sailing Jamin JamaicaWith the phenomenal support from the Cayman Islands J/22 fleet, there were mutterings about changing the regatta name from “Jamin” to “Cam-Jam”, or something similar.  A hearty “high five” to Mike Farrington, Bruce Johnson, Suvi Hayden, and their teams for making the effort and putting in a great showing– again!  It is 20 years since Mike did his first Jamin regatta and 22 years for Bruce!  Other big names from year’s gone by didn’t make it this year, but we hope they are going to return in 2017!

Jamaica J/22 Jamin International Regatta
This annual regatta is an open invitation to the global sailing community to bring a crew to Jamaica, race someone else’s boat (with no rental fee), get home hosted (at no cost), and get the ultimate high on a great race track for a very modest entry fee.  The perfect regatta for these tough economic times; something to look forward to during the dark winter months of our northern neighbors!

J/22 sailing Jamaica with woman skipperRace Days
With 82% of available boats in the country appearing on the line, thanks to owner’s Steven Cooke and PJ Gibson bringing their boats from Kingston, there were some exciting mark roundings and odd bits of damage despite the light to moderate conditions.

With the surprise disappearance of the mark set last year by the Commodore and his team in 110’ of water, the race courses all got a lot shorter than anticipated!  What was more of a challenge was the usual easterly breeze tending to shift further to the south, falling outside of the race committee’s defined marks.  As usual, the very tricky wind shifts were the critical element for the whole weekend.

J/22s sailing Montego Bay, JamaicaWho won?! It may or not matter to some, thanks to the copious amounts of rum supplied by local sponsor Appleton Rum- Jamaica’s Best!  A total of seven races were sailed, all counters, no throw-outs.  It turned out those cavalier Cayman Islanders must’ve been doing some kind’a practicin’!  Good Lord, three of the top five this year?? What gives??.  In the end, Bruce Johnson from Cayman Island Sailing Club had one of his best years ever sailing the Jamin regatta.  He sailed DEFENDER to first place with just 20 pts total.  Second was the CALYPSO team led by Michele Cimon from Canada with 27 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Peter Harper’s ZIPPER from Mo’Bay just 2 pts back with 29 pts.  The balance of the top five was filled out by 2015 winner, Mike Farrington from Cayman on NINA with 31 pts and fellow Cayman Islander Suvi Hayden’s crew on AWESOME in 5th place with 32 pts.  Holy tightrope, Batman!  The top five was determined by just 5 points!  Fun, fun, fun racing for all.  But, the sailing paled in comparison to the social side of things.

J/22 Cayman Island sailors“The” Retro Party
Saturday evening’s social festivities took place at Bryan and Lyn Langford’s house at Great River Pirate.  It has become a famous tradition for Jamin J/22 Jamaica and this year’s “theme” was “funkadelic retro”.  The evening entertainment was punctuated by a full-on retro session with a rocking DJ and awesome decorations.  As usual, the bar was flowing and the food was simply amazing!  There was a delicious smorgasbord of food donated by Mo’Bay members and the visiting yachtsmen and yachtswomen enjoyed every bite. The highlight of the evening was “Bob-ette”, the personal guest of Commodore Nigel, who had provided “figurehead” services on the race course during the day. It was a night to remember!   Checkout the Jamin FB page of social festivities here.   Flickr photos of sailing on Mo’Bay.   From Krystian Dear- a rockin’ video drone of awesomeness of sailing Mo’Bay.

Jamaican J/22 sailors dancingAbout Jamin
Jamin is a regatta of volunteers and amateurs getting together to do something they love- sailing on Mo’Bay!  The J/22’s are loaned for the use of visitors, home hosting is arranged for those that need, and the land-based entertainment is all sorted.  The regatta first started in 1989 as the Jam-Am Invitational when there were close ties with the US J/22 sailing fraternity.  The regatta was designed as an open invitation to the USA and designed with the emphasis on fun.

The regatta evolved into an international invitational open to entries from the entire planet.  Jamin’ is now held at the beginning of December every year for any sailors who are willing to come and risk the warm tropical trade winds, sun and the blue waters of the Caribbean- tough duty, we know.  The whole event revolves around having fun on and off the water.  The winner of the event by extension is a “J/22 Global Champion” and obviously a “Living Legend” as every year the entire world is invited to come and play!

Jamin Jamaica J/22 sailorsHa’yuuuge, ginormous “Thank You’s” to the following cast of characters and supporters that make this event happenin’ mon!
- Montego Bay Yacht Club, MBYC Management Committee, Taddy, Heather and Zeirain, MBYC Dockmaster, Dawson and assistant Anthony
- J/22 owners who allowed their boat to be sailed by others
- Bryan and Lynda Langford for the prize giving venue – Landfall!  This has become the best part of the weekend!
- Race committee volunteers Robin Delisser, Lyn Langford and Phil Slow and particularly Captain Slow for the use of his home- Diva.
- Carole Small for organization of names and food for prize giving
- All those who donated food and drink for the Retro – you know who you are!
- J/22 owner Frank May for lending his boat while he went back to the golf course, again…
- Frank May and Peter Harper – handmade prizes and plaques
- Ev Harrington for all her silly prizes!
- Sarah Hart for the updated logo
- Accommodations:
    - Inga Hjartar for home hosting
    - Jacqueline Hamilton for apartment lending
    - Sandals Resorts for apartment lending
- Ian Johnston photography on the water and Nigel Lord off the water
- Montego Bay Yacht Club Restaurant - Robbie Joseph’s Seahorse Grill
- PJ Stewart for the new perpetual trophy
- Suvi for the T-Shirt branding

Next race! Book your ride early for Jamin’ Jamaica J/22 Invitational Regatta- December 9th and 10th, 2017!!  Nothing beats it! One-design yacht racing in Jamaica– clean starts, protest free, fun racing in challenging conditions! Plus, did we mention that it’s sunny, 70s-80s, and windy on Mo’Bay??  Also, remember that Jamaica is the heartbeat and soul of the Caribbean (remember reggae superstars Bob Marley & the Wailers?).   For more Jamin Jamaica J/22 International Regatta sailing information