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33rd Annual Jamin J/22 Regatta at Montego Bay Yacht Club - Recap

by Spencer May 11 Dec 2022 17:46 GMT December 2-3, 2022

This year's regatta was intense; both the competition and wind could only be described as fierce.

We saw 20+ knots of breeze consistently with gusts up to 30 throughout the two days of racing, Friday December 2 and Saturday December 3, with a few early retirements and some incredible boat handling. Safety being the number one priority, we decided to move forward with racing with caution and after much deliberation, as the scores will reflect, crews and skippers decided for themselves what was safe.

With 11 boats registered, including 2 shipped from Cayman with the generous sponsorship of Seaboard Marine, it was a great couple days of racing. Without Seaboard Marine getting the boats from the Cayman Islands Sailing Club to the port in Montego Bay, the final results would have looked very different. The Jamaican Customs was instrumental in the clearance of the two Caymanian vessels, Yahoo #9 and Adjusted #13, skippered by Bruce Johnson and Mike Farrington, respectively. We look forward to their support in future years for the continued comradery and growth of the sport on both islands.

The Montego Bay Yacht Club, which has hosted this event since 1989, had 6 J/22s competing this year, including AWESOME! #0 skippered by Commodore and Jamin Chair, Spencer May, Nina #1 skippered by Stephen Dear, Zipper #2 skippered by Denise Taylor, Ayahso #4 skippered by the father/daughter combo of Michael and Emily Morse, Open Water #7 skippered by Andrew King, and Defender #10 skippered by Past Commodore and Chair of the Pineapple Cup Race, Nigel Knowles. Kingston's Royal Jamaica Yacht Club had two boats competing, Tsunami #3 skipped by Malcolm Hernould and PJ Gibson and Geronimo #11 skippered by Steven Cooke. Our defending champions from the Galveston Bay Cruising Association, Walter Caldwell, Karen Glass, Allie Cribbs and Brett Allred, had the use of Renegade #6 through the generosity of Past Commodore and Past Jamin Chair, Richard Hamilton.

Before getting into the nitty gritty race results, we MUST thank the MBYC team that makes this event possible every year. Dockmaster and Committee Boat Helm, Dawson Morrison, 1st Mate Anthony Carty, who assisted with start and finish line. The dutiful Heather Vernon, our MBYC manager, and Administrative Assistant, Zeirain Shaw. Our start committee was made-up of Maxine Garwan, Debbie Louw, Lyn Langford and Jackie Hamilton. We also have to praise Evelyn Harrington as her "joke prizes" are a highlight of each year's Jamin prize-giving, like giving AWESOME! some spackle and a brush after a glancing blow on the committee boat's beam before the start of race 5, or the carabiners for a crewmember of Nina who ended up climbing one of the channel markers after going overboard, like we said, the wind was pretty wild.

The scores tell QUITE a story, and beyond that there are anecdotal stories with a few broken boat parts and MOBs. Needless to say, all boats and sailors were still buoyant at the end of the weekend.

For the best recap, please check out Dervon McKellop's YouTube page where he will post video from the event.

And feel free to follow him and us on Instagram!

After Day 1, there were clearly 2 boats in the lead Adjusted #13 (5 points) and Yahoo #9 (7 points) and a deadlock tie for 3rd with Renegade #6 and Ayahso #4 both tied at 15 points. Tsunami was not far behind with 19 points. 5 of the 11 boats had early retirements/were not able to get to the start line with inexperienced crew/breakages cited as the cause. The windward mark of the course was nestle up against Montego Bay's Harmony Beach Park, which acted as a wind shadow and allowing for some great tactical maneuvering and quick spinnaker sets.

Day 2 was equally exciting and while there were a few early retirements, the most dramatic was a snapped spinnaker pole, everyone made it safely off the course. Joe Paolone AKA Rooster of Adjusted #13 received special appreciation and a sportsmanship trophy as he boarded another boat to assist with retrieving a MOB. For the rest of the crews, keeping the boat flat was the goal for the day. Due to the strong winds and wave action paired with some rain in the nights, the waters of MoBay were not as crystal clear as they usually are, but it still beats swimming I most other places this time of year.

On Friday evening we had a "Link-Up & Drink-Up" on the dock and we tested the buoyancy of one J/22 by having 22 sailors atop! 2022 was one for the record books. Saturday served as our annual Jamin Party paired with this year's prize-giving, Jerk Pork and Chicken, Rice & Peas, Festival and Steamed Veggies from local favorite Scotchie's served as sustenance while the ever-refreshing combination of fresh coconut water and Jamaican rum along with ice cold Red Stripes as lubricant. Our videographer played some clips while we gathered and recounted the weekend.

We had a great showing this year and greatly look forward to hosting Jamin again in 2023. Tentative dates are November 30 - December 3rd. Please reach out to to be kept informed!

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