Thursday, December 24, 2015

J/22 Jammin Jamaica Wild Wild West Show!

J/22 Jammin Jamaica Wild Wild West party (Montego Bay, Jamaica)- 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!

Every J/22 in the country made the appearance this year, thanks to the tireless efforts of Rugie Misir and the Kingston owners Stephen Cooke and Stephen Facey.

J/22 Jammin Jamaica Nina sailing teamThe MoBay YC Commodore personally oversaw the setting of a new permanent mark in 110’ of water for the start committee, which was perfect. What was a challenge for all was the 40 degrees of oscillation in the wind all day Saturday. The shifts were the critical element for the whole weekend.

Commentary from our “Jamin Queen”- Lyn Langford:  “Saturday evening was a rootin-tootin time where the competition of the day was left on the water and the focus for the night was on frolic and fun! Bryan and Lyn Langford once again opened their home for the night and the ‘Wild, Wild, Wild West” came alive! There were ‘cowboys’ and ‘Indians’ all over rehashing the trials and tribulations of the day. There was a delicious smorgasbord of food donated by Mo Bay members and our visitors enjoyed each bite. The highlight of the evening was the country and western singer, Billy Joe, who got us all hoopin’ and a hollarin’ and dancin’ up a storm! Yee-haw! It was a night to remember!

J/22 Jammin Jamaica Ayahso teamRace 6 was a bit challenging for the ‘Vikings’ from Cayman on ‘JimScreechie’. On the first upwind leg, a gust took them over.... And I mean all the way over! We all watched in amazement- it was worryingly long for an upwind capsize! ‘Defender’, looking for an excuse as to why they were doing so badly overall, turned from her second place at the head of the fleet to the rescue. Fortunately no one was hurt, ‘JimScreechie’ righted herself and began sailing again just as ‘Defender’ got to her. All was well until the last downwind leg when she went over again! Not like the last time, thank goodness, but at this point, I believe spirits were a bit low. However, she came back with vengeance and sailed Race 3! That’s why we love Suvi and her Vikings ~ they never give up!

J/22 Jammin Jamaica- Geronimo teamTracy Snow and her Team Canada (to include our very own, Julia Magnuson-Ford) held their own during Sunday’s races despite the high breeze. Opting not to fly their spinnaker a few times was their course of action and while it didn’t get them in the front of the fleet, they sailed strong! It is always good to have Tracy with us, she always brings her ‘can-do’ attitude regardless of conditions (boat or weather).

All I can say is poor Renegade. In race #6, coming down the last leg, spinnaker flying full, when doing their last gybe into the finish line, the spinnaker seemed to get very twisted around the forestay and just continued to twist, and twist, and twist. She finished the race but couldn’t stop! Mike Hill from Team USA2 was at the helm and we watched her continue to cruise on down the coast. Race 7 had to start without Renegade as she was still in distress (or, was Richard Hamilton in more distress?). Fortunately, no one was any the worse for wear and tear.

At the prize giving beneath MoBay’s waterfront gazebo, 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. Each boat that participated in the regatta received hand painted art by yacht club members. And, everyone who had mucked up on the day received something silly from Ev Harrington, our other Queen of Jammin.

J/22 Jammin Jamaica logoJammin 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 enjoy 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!

Many, many heartfelt ‘Thank You’s’ to the following:
  • Montego Bay Yacht Club, MBYC Management Committee, Taddy, Heather and Davia, MBYC Dockmaster, Dawson and assistant Anthony
  • J/22 owners who allowed their boat to be sailed by others
  • Bryan and Lynda Langford for the party venue– Landfall! This has become the best part of the weekend!
  • Race committee volunteers Robin Delisser, Lyn Langford and Phil Slow
  • Carole Small for organization of names and food for prize giving
  • All those who donated food and drink for the Wild West Party
  • J/22 owner Frank May for lending his boat while he went back to the golf course again...
  • Frank May – handmade prizes and mark management
  • Evelyn Harrington for all her silly prizes!
  • Sarah Hart for the updated logo
  • Krystian Dear and Sarah Misir for the gorgeous YouTube video
  • Bunny Rose photography, Ian Johnston photography and Hank Brown
  • Montego Bay Yacht Club Restaurant- Robbie Joseph’s Seahorse Grill"
For more J/22 Jammin Jamaica sailing information