Cayman’ers Jump Jammin' Jamaica Regatta!
(Montego Bay, Jamaica) Mike Farrington and the Cayman Island
Sailing Club team (3rd in the South African J/22 Worlds) returned to
the regatta with a vengeance after a four year hiatus. Nearly winning
every race in the two day series, Farrington’s Cayman crew sailed
TAKE 5 nearly flawlessly to win the Jamaica Jammin J/22 Regatta with
a commanding lead over the rest of the eleven boat fleet that came
from Canada, USA (Newport), Cayman Islands, Montego Bay and
Blessed with the usual tradewinds blowing from the east, the Montego
Bay YC’s PRO team (led by Richard Hamilton) managed to run the
complete set of seven races over the two days. Saturday’s racing saw
the trades kick in around 1100 hrs with a partly sunny day and
temperatures hovering in the mid-80s. Due to the random black
cloud streaming across the course area, the resultant 30-45 degree
wind shifts played havoc with the tactics.
The first race would become a repeat of what was going to happen for the balance of the weekend. The top two boats in the race jumped out to a substantial lead on the first leg. At the top mark, NINA rounded first, sailed by the Newport USA team of Stuart & Julia Johnstone (sailing with Jamaican father & son crew of Stephen & Krystian Dear). But, not soon after, the TAKE 5 Cayman crew led by Farrington demonstrated superior downwind speed and took the lead around the bottom mark, ultimately taking the win. For the next three races on Saturday, similar scenarios would play out but with Farrington’s TAKE 5 crew proving unbeatable with a 1-2-3-1 scoreline to lead the day with 7 pts. Sitting in second on the day, just one point behind, was the Johnstone & Dear crew on NINA with a 2-1-1-4 record for 8 pts. Third on the day was another Cayman Island team, Bruce Johnson’s crew on AWESOME posting a 4-6-2-2 for 14 pts.
Saturday evening has become something of a tradition for the Jamaica Jammin Regatta. The hosts for the “Western Round-up” were Bryan and Lynn Langford. In addition to the “potluck” dinner of all kinds of Jamaican delicacies, the Langford’s surprised the crowd of nearly eighty people with the local Western cowboy singer version of “Billy Bob”. Not often one sees a well-tanned Jamaican singer belting out Western classics on his guitar swell into the wee-hours of the evening. Dancing shoes, or what was left of them, were summarily tossed into the pool as throngs of sailors spun and danced around the enormous veranda in front of the house. How good was the partay?? Quite good. Most sailors apparently made it home in good shape, a few cars didn’t. But, that’s a story for another day.
With such a lively party the night before, it was not too surprising to see a few “dusty” sailors on the yacht club grounds the next morning stumbling down to their boats tied Mediterranean-style on the docks. With an hour earlier start time, it was especially difficult for some boats to get rolling in the morning due to the lack of wind. First off the docks were Farrington’s Cayman crew loaded with a case of Red Stripe beer, last off was the Johnstone/ Dear team on NINA. Sunday’s racing started off in moderate winds and sunny skies with a much more northeasterly angle to the direction. Many teams were hitting the corners hard- like so hard that you could not read sail numbers across the race course (and the JAM sail numbers are big!). The windward mark rounding proved to be a repeat of the day before, with Johnstone and Farrington rounding overlapped at the first mark. with TAKE 5 winning the 5th race and NINA placing second. The breeze increased dramatically over the course of the three races on the final day. Farrington’s crew sailed well to close out the regatta with three bullets on the final day. The Johnstone/ Dear team on NINA closed out with a 2-2-3 to comfortably finish second. Third overall was Johnson’s Cayman crew on AWESOME.
There was a tough battle that was brewing all weekend for the balance of the top five- a battle for local supremacy between the top Kingston and MoBay teams. An unfortunate DNF in the third race slowed down Peter Harper’s ZIPPER crew from Montego Bay, however, they fought hard to get back into contention and closed out the regatta with a good set of races on Sunday. Incredibly, there was a three-way tie for the number 3 spot for the day that included AWESOME, ZIPPER and Steve “Cookie” Cooke’s GERONIMO from Kingston. The final outcome was that Cookie’s GERONIMO took the flag as top Jamaican boat in 4th overall followed by Harper’s ZIPPER in fifth place.
The Montego Bay YC wishes to thank all the competitors that traveled far and wide to come down and enjoy the Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta. The western “jump-up” on Saturday was greatly appreciated by all and a huge “thanks” to Bryan and Lynn Langford for their extraordinary hospitality. In addition, thanks to all the MoBay YC volunteers, including the extraordinary race management by PRO Richard Hamilton. Finally, a big shout out to regatta sponsors Boomerang Tyres/Maxxis and Stocks & Securities Ltd for their support. Sailing photo credits - Bunny Rose Photography
If you want to watch an entertaining video, take a look at the production by Krystian Dear and his younger brother Kai and Sarah Missir at the start of this review- very talented kids!
JAMIN' 2015 RESULTS TABLE