“Angry seas” created by the strong tradewinds was the setting for the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Spring Shakedown Series, Race No. 3 on Thursday at the Nawiliwili Harbor.
“Following a week of strong trade winds, the ocean was in a turmoil at the start of the race,” said NYC Rear Commodore Kevin Arndt. “So much so that the entrance buoy had broken its anchor and was sitting on top of the breakwater resulting in Jim Saylor and the Fast Company crew anchoring a temporary rounding mark ahead of the race.”
The goodwill gesture may have had its blessings as Fast Company beat out the fleet of nine boats to capture the third race of the series, crossing the finish line on an elapsed sail of 41 minutes, 43 seconds and correcting to 41:58 PHRF for the win by a mere two seconds over Kato (41:33 elapsed, 42:00 PHRF).
“The first leg of the four-mile course sent the fleet out into the maelstrom outside the breakwater,” Arndt said. “Winds were straight out of the east blowing at more than 20 knots with the wave train coming from two different directions — one from the open ocean, and the other from the reflective wave coming off the shoreline cliffs.”
Rounding the turnaround, the boats — some sailing with reefed sails while others faced the conditions with full sails — surfed down the faces of waves, passing multiple competitors on a single wave.
“It wasn’t the 10-foot swell creating the excitement,” Arndt said. “It was the four-foot breaking chop on top of the swell that made the race absolutely thrilling. Trinity, an F-28 trimaran, was in her element with rooster tail flying as she screamed well into the lead. The trio of Olsen 30’s — Fast Company, Kato and OZone — were next in line, flying around the course.”
Although Trinity crossed the finish line more than four seconds ahead of Fast Company on a 39.52 elapsed sail, the PHRF correction placed the trimaran in fifth place at 45:37 PHRF. However, all was not lost as Trinity corrected to 36:39 Club for top honors in that class.
Third place honors in the PHRF class belonged to OZone (43:08 elapsed, 43:24 PHRF) followed by Lelele, a Wells 30, crossing on a 45:05 elapsed sail and correcting to 45:09 PHRF, more than 25 seconds ahead of Trinity, and claiming second place in the Club class on a 39:36 Club correction.
The remainder of the fleet included Weatherly (45:21 elapsed, 45:38 PHRF), Speedy (46:45 elapsed, 47:02 PHRF), Papa a‘u (49:10 elapsed, 47:29 PHRF), and Iwa (54:57 elapsed, 53:33 PHRF).
The fourth race of the six-race Spring Shakedown Series takes place Thursday, and the NYC Race Committee invites the public to view the competition from the jetty wall area of the Nawiliwili Harbor parking area when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.