Tuesday, December 17, 2013

ZIPPER Jams Jamaica Regatta In MoBay!

J/22 Jamaica Jammin regatta (Montego Bay, Jamaica)- The Jamaica Jammin’ Regatta sailed in the clubs J/22 one-design fleet has a wonderful history of great sailors and great sailing, all in the challenging waters of Montego Bay, Jamaica.  They’ve had sailors from all across the globe, including the UK, Cayman, Bahamas and, of course, Jamaican teams from Kingston and Montego Bay, participating in past regattas.

This annual regatta is an open invitation to the global sailing community to bring a crew to Jamaica, race someone else’s boat (at no cost), 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 sailors enjoying Jamaica Jammin regatta!After the largest turnout ever in 2012 with every J/22 in the country sailing, 2013 was always going to be tough get all the boats back.  A late cancellation from the Cayman youth sailing coaches meant that Mark Edmunds and his dedicated followers from Cayman waved the flag this year and eight boats entered the fray.  Bruce J, we missed you again! And, young Tracy from Canada – make sure next year you plan a little better!

The forecast for Friday was 22 gusting 28 knots. Actual wind was 5 to 18 knots and so easterly that the race committee had trouble getting a mark remotely square.  Saturday turned out to be more breeze than Friday with 14 to 18 and occasional gusts of 25 kts from the ENE.  There was no local knowledge that helped as it was a case of spot the puffs at the top of the course and make sure to sail them!

J/22s start at Jamaica Jammin regattaThe gusts were strong enough to bury Geronimo’s mast for a couple of minutes and spill all 4 crew into the water followed by an immediate broach on the other side followed by an extended period of sideways drift towards the reef with the spinnaker run to the stops.  The skipper was given special recognition at prize giving (and graciously accepted!) for rescuing themselves and the boat with all hands on deck!

One-design yacht racing in Jamaica? It’s all about clean starts, protest free, fun racing in challenging conditions.  Nothing beats it.  At the prize-giving, each crew member on the first, second and third place boats received fabulous handmade Frank May trophies with a stained timber plaque and resin hulls.

Repeat winner was Peter Harper and team sailing their yacht ZIPPER from Montego Bay YC.  Displaying much better form and jumping one notch higher on the podium in this year’s event was Mark Edmunds sailing DEFENDER to the silver from Cayman Islands Sailing Club.  Leaping up the ladder this year was Bob Mallasch’s team on their mighty yacht AYAHSO from Montego Bay YC, taking the bronze overall!

J/22s sailing off starting line on Montego Bay, JamaicaJammin’ is a regatta of volunteers and amateurs getting together to do something they love.  Boats are loaned for the use of visitors, home hosting is arranged for those that need and land-based entertainment 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.  Jammin’ is now held at the beginning of December ever year for any sailors who are willing to come and risk the warm tropical trade winds, sun and the blue waters of the Caribbean. 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!

“Thank you’s” are due to the following for making the event happen:
  • Montego Bay Yacht Club, MBYC Management Committee, Judith, Heather and Davia, MBYC Dockmaster, David and assistant Anthony, and Robbie Joseph’s “Seahorse Grill”;
  • Bryan and Lyn Langford for the use of the “Pursuit” as start boat – you guys are the best!  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 Carole Small- we hope that the gift of abacus and Vienna Sausages will help in the counting of laps next year;
  • Carole Small for organization of names and food for prize-giving;
  • J/22 owner Frank May for lending his boat while he went back to the course;
  • Frank May – handmade prizes and mark management; and
  • Lyn Langford for all her silly prizes.
Last, but not least, we are extremely grateful for our Sponsors:
  • Biggs BBQ restaurant and bar on the hip trip for the Jammin T Shirts;
  • Slam Condoms – for those quieter moments on the course; and
  • Draught beer, mon!  Of course, something no sailor could do without!
For more Jamaica Jammin’ J/22 International sailing regatta information.