Patience key to Kato win

NAWILIWILI — A good start, smart spinnaker handling and a healthy dose of patience were keys to taking the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series Race No. 5 on Thursday.

Kato pushed out of the pack that appeared to be in slow motion in winds whispering at five to eight knots on very calm seas, and never gave up the top spot.

She crossed the finish line of the five-mile, two-leg course on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 4 seconds, correcting to 1:04:46 PHRF for top honors in the seven-boat fleet.

“Getting a perfect start, deft spinnaker handling, minimizing tacks and constant trimming for most efficient sail trim were keys to winning this extremely slow wind race,” said NYC Interim vice commodore Doug Tiffany. “Position changes were few, roundings resulted in no fouls, and patience was ultimately rewarded.”

Throughout the run, Fast Company and Weatherly, both Olson 30s, waged a battle for second place, the win ultimately going to Jim Saylor’s crew aboard Fast Company, who sounded the finish horn on a 1:10:21 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:10:47 PHRF. That was over the efforts of Weatherly, that crossed the finish buoy at 1:10:37 — 16 ticks back of Fast Company — and corrected to 1:11:03 PHRF for third place.

A similar battle took place between OZone, an Olson 30, and Bonjolea II, a Sydney 36, for fourth place. The smaller OZone settled that race when she crossed on a 1:12:24 elapsed sail and corrected top 1:12:51 PHRF. The elapsed sail was slower than Bonjolea II, which sounded the horn on a 1:12:05 elapsed sail, but slipped to fifth place on the 1:16.46 PHRF correction.

Other boats in the race saw Papa A‘u crossing on a 1:22:17 elapsed sail and correcting t0 1:19:28 PHRF with Speedy rounding out the fleet on a 1:20:29 elapsed sail and correcting to 1:20:59 PHRF.

OZone corrected to 1:10:14 Club class for top honors in that division followed by Speedy (1:10:235 Club) and Bonjolea II (1:12:12 Club).

The final race of the Gene Wells Memorial Series takes place Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall parking area.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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