Grand Cayman (2 November 2006) – A Cayman Islands team won the inaugural KPMG J/22 International Sailing Regatta, held over three days at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club (CISC).
The Cayman Islands team of ‘Argy Bargy’, sailed by Paul and Mike Johnston and David Carmichael, took first place overall, ahead of the Team Texas crew of Jeff Progelhof, Paul Bregenzer and Buddy Wainwright racing ‘Radium’.
Third place went to the Cayman team of Mark Macfee, Mike Farrington and Matt Diaz, sailing ‘Moonstruck’, while Mark Clarke sailing with Denise Couch and Ben Webster were placed fourth overall on ‘Natural Mystic’.
Bringing up the rear was a second US team from Rhode Island and crews from Canada, Bermuda and Jamaica.
The Regatta activities started with a reception for the visiting teams at Government House on the evening of 26 October. This was very well attended and was followed by a great evening at Sunset House.
There was a practice race on the afternoon of 27 October in 15 knots of wind and sunshine. Top Cayman boat in the practice – underlining its pre-regatta status as one of the favourites for the event – was Argy Bargy, but they were pipped at the finish line by the Texan team.
The practice race was followed by a hugely successful KPMG happy hour with margaritas and Corona. Over 100 members, visitors and supporters attended the event.
Day one saw varied conditions from 0 to 35 knots. Winds were variable from the north east to the south through all points of the compass and proved challenging to the race committee and competitors alike.
The Texan team won both races before racing was abandoned for the day due to heavy winds.
The leading Cayman boat at the end of day one was Moonshine, lying in third place overall behind Rhode Island in second.
A Caribbean party and Tortuga rum happy hour followed the first day’s racing and were well attended with dancing continuing past midnight.
Day two of the regatta was windy. It was a long challenging day of four races with wind speeds consistently 18 knots with higher gusts. By the end of the day the crews were exhausted, but not too exhausted for an excellent Bayside Café curry supper.
His Excellency the Governor, Mr Stuart Jack, came out to watch the racing in the afternoon and even stayed for the supper.
It was a good day for the Cayman boats which relished the heavy conditions. Argy Bargy won three races and Natural Mystic won the other. Moonstruck had two second-place finishes, despite a broken main halyard in one race.
By the end of day two, Argy Bargy and the Texas Team were tied for first place overall.
It was a successful final day on Monday for the Cayman teams sailing in shifty conditions with moderate breeze.
Argy Bargy had a first, second and third in the three races and won the regatta overall.
The Moonstruck crew had two firsts and a third to finish in third-place overall.
Natural Mystic had an inconsistent regatta but still managed to finish fourth overall.
Top visiting boat was the Team Texas crew who finished second overall.
The rain held off for the Prizegiving Dinner at Seagrape House in South Sound on 30 October with almost 100 people attending and enjoying the final Regatta event. The event was enormously successful and enjoyed by all.
Andrew Moon, the Commodore of CISC, said the whole regatta was enormously successful and enjoyed by all.
‘Thanks must go to the sponsors – in particular our overall sponsor, KPMG, which was not only generous but active, interested and involved in the whole event, and Gerry Kirkconnell and Kirk Freeport who donated the stunning trophies for the top three teams,’ he said.
Other sponsors included Island Companies (Pirates Grotto), Cable & Wireless, Gary White Infocus Photos Ltd, Full of Beans, Icoa, Subway, English Bakery, Tortuga Rum Company, Flowers Bottled Water and Jacques Scott (Heineken).
‘The event would not have been possible without the support of the J/22 fleet and particularly those owners who graciously allowed their boats to be used by the visiting teams,’ said Mr Moon. ‘I am most grateful to all of them for their enthusiasm and support of the regatta.’
He paid tribute to Mr Jack for his support and to CISC staff members Heather Bradley, Michael Weber and Marisa Bailey, as well as race officer Peta Adams and her assistants. He also thanked the Regatta Organising Committee of Lindsay Macfee, Jane Moon, Pam McDonough and Judy Bullmore for putting together the event.
‘The regatta was an incredible success. The number of people at the club, the atmosphere, the volunteers and the organisation was world class and great fun. I think the club will be better for and will learn from the experience,’ he added.