Sun | Dec 16, 2018

All is set for second Round Jamaica Yacht Race

Published:Wednesday | November 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Mark Shields

The second staging of the biennial Info Exchange Round Jamaica Yacht Race (RJYR) will take place on November 30.

Five sailboats will be on the start line at noon. The race will commence from the Grand Port Royal Hotel, Morgan's Harbour and the boats will make their way around Jamaica and back to Morgan's Harbour. The RJYR will be started by Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen.

The inaugural race was in January 2016 with six entries, all from Jamaica. The star of the show was expected to be the veteran Ron Holland 86-footer, but she was dogged by gear failure and the eventual winner was a Beneteau First 35s5. Both boats are entered again. Also entered for the race are Gunboat 60 from the Montego Bay Yacht Club, as well as a First 47.7 from neighbouring Cayman Islands and another local boat, a Lightwave Express 37.

The conditions in Jamaica at this time of the year are generally lighter than in summer but are much more variable. While boats are expected to finish the following Sunday, if it's a quick, record setting pace, they may arrive at the finish line on Saturday.

The progress of the fleet can be seen on the website of the organisers as each sailboat will be fitted with a Hidden Technology Systems International GPS tracker. Interested fans may also follow blogs and vlogs from the onboard camera wielders.

 

EXCITING POTENTIAL

 

Mark Shields, the managing director of Shields Crime & Security, is the main organiser of the event. He believes the race will eventually become very popular in the Caribbean.

"So many Caribbean islands have held famed sailboat racing events around their islands, and Jamaica will join that list. Jamaica is perfectly located to attract international competitors so we are excited about building on the success of our first race in 2016. This year, we have the pleasure of announcing Info Exchange Limited as our principal sponsor," Shields said.

In a release announcing the event, the organisers said "the race continues to grow, attracting local and international interest from the sailing community as well as advertising the outstanding Jamaica coastline. We are looking forward to a large turnout when the boats start the race at Morgan's Harbour."

Other sponsors of the event include Toyota Jamaica, Shields Crime & Security, Hidden Technology Systems International, Pure National Ice and Gibson Trading Automotive (GTA).