The world-famous Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta was hosted by the members of Montego Bay Yacht Club in December. International representation came from the Cayman Islands again with three teams including defending champion Bruce Johnson and IJ22CA President Mike Farrington. Representing Canada was second-time competitor Michele Cimon and from the USA, Mike Weber. Mike Marshall, former J/22 World Champion, came down to coach for the weekend. 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) and get home hosted (at no cost) for a modest entry fee. 100% of the 11 J/22s in Jamaica made it to the starting line (thanks to owners and racers from Kingston and Montego Bay, and Steven Cooke and PJ Gibson for their help preparing them and transporting them).
Day 1: The imminent arrival of a strong northerly front presented the first challenge to the race committee in setting a course. Given that the northeast trades blow all day every day, there is no consideration of any course outside of 060 to 090 degrees. Therefore, 260 degrees was a challenge, with breezes varying from 1-5 knots. But the Race Committee ran four successful races, including a downwind start in race three.
Day 2: A concerned call from the Montego Bay YC Dockmaster regarding the early, enormous swell that was sweeping into the bay from the northwest, and well ahead of the front, forced the committee to decide to cancel the day’s racing.
For more Jammin J/22 Jamaica Regatta information, visit http://www.mobayyachtclub.com/.