As is customary in Jamaica in early December, there was incredible weather for the 2021 Jammin’ Jamaica-Carnival Edition, sailed on the Montego Bay Yacht Club’s fleet of J/22s. Great wind, bright sunshine and crystal-clear waters. A couple of boats even saw a pod of dolphins during the windward leg on day two of racing. There were seven boats on the line: one foreign team (Houston, Texas), two from Kingston’s Royal Jamaica Yacht Club and four from the Montego Bay Yacht Club (MBYC). The competition throughout the weekend was competitive and corinthian (only a couple of protest flags were seen), and no official protests were lodged as the penalties were settled on the water. Thursday after the boats were launched, teams got some much-needed practice time. Then, everyone looked forward to the lovely welcome cocktail hosted by the MBYC.
Day 1: There was lots of excitement in the air on Friday morning as the teams met for the official skippers briefing. The three-day series was forecasted to be an eight-race series, with one toss out, so the best seven scores would be tallied. As the racers got onto the race track in Mo’Bay, they saw good winds. Everyone was getting into the groove and figuring out their rhythm. Fast out of the blocks on the first day was Steven “Cookie” Cook’s GERONIMO with a 1-1-2 scoreline. Close behind him was the Texan team—Walter Caldwell from Galveston Bay Cruising Association. While there was nothing official on the agenda for Friday Evening, the teams did a “link-up and drink-up” with a dozen souls on board the J/22 DEFENDER to observe an incredible sunset.
Day 2: Much to the delight of all sailors, the second day was full of strong winds and wonderful course selections by Race Office Robin DeLisser. In the end, Caldwell’s Texan crew on DEFENDER lived up to her name and capitalized with three top-place finishes (all bullets) garnering a score of 3 on the day. Cooke’s GERONIMO crew took second with 8 points, followed by Mike Morse’s AYAHSO. The evening’s festivities were a Carnival Party.
Day 3: Flukey winds in the first race accounted for a fascinating race course, with some boats heading out to sea seeking stronger winds, while others hugged the coastline, hoping for a more direct line between marks. Race 1 boiled down to Geronimo, Renegade and Defender coming in 1, 2, 3. This meant the last race would be vital to the outcome of the series. The final race was a traditional upwind/downwind course with three separate upwind marks, all varying distances from the start and slightly different angles to the breeze. Ultimately, it was Walter Caldwell’s Texan team on DEFENDER who was crowned 2021 Jammin’ Jamaica-Carnival Edition overall Champion. They were followed by Steven Cooke’s GERONIMO team in second, with Morse’s AYAHOS team taking home the bronze medal. For more Jammin’ Jamaica J/22 Regatta information, visit https://www.mobayyachtclub.com/.