Yacht Racing – ‘OZone’ endures in wind-driven chop

NAWILIWILI — Brisk north-easterlies coupled with a large east swell to create excitement for sailors in the Nawiliwili Yacht Club’s Rum Series, Race No. 2 Thursday.

“It’s going to be wet and wild out there,” said NYC member Marty Ellis who was watching the race from the security of the jetty wall.

Sharon Gibson, the NYC scorekeeper and race official, agreed.

“It’s really blowing out there,” Gibson said. “You definitely won’t be seeing any spinnakers today. It’s blowing good so we’re making them run three long courses so they can really run.”

The 15 to 25-knot winds and wind-driven chop took its toll as three of the original field of seven did not finish the race.

During the second leg of the three-leg race, “Malihini,” a 35-foot catamaran that appeared to be the most stable craft in the wind-driven chop, got into irons and drifted into the No. 2 red can near the Kalapaki cliffs.

Gibson said at that point the catamaran’s crew decided to quit the battle with the elements.

“Trinity,” an F28R that made its debut at last week’s race, was also a non-finisher. “Coyote,” a C&C 38, also pulled the plug on the elements after discovering she still had a leg to run while other boats were already crossing the finish line.

The blustery conditions also created surprises out on the water as “Speedy,” an Olson 30, bobbed in the lead coming back from the first leg.

On her tail, another Olson 30, “OZone,” chased with “Fast Company,” another Olson 30 who also debutted on the race circuit last week, solidly in the chase for the lead position.

The three-way Olson 30 race was broken up inside the harbor when “OZone” slipped past “Speedy” and captured the lead slot while “Fast Company” attacked leg 2 with a different tack line.

“She’s (Speedy) got a lot of people, today,” Ellis said, “With all that rail meat, no wonder she’s doing so well.”

Rail meat and seasoned skippering went to OZone who retained the lead and crossed the line on a PHRF corrected time of 1:25.15, chased by Speedy who crossed at 1:26.14 (PHRF).

Papa‘au (1:26.49 PHRF), an Express 27, took third followed by Fast Company (1:24.52 PHRF). Lelele (1:30.44) PHRF), a new Wells 30 that was dedicated two weeks ago, and Bonjolea (1:30.58 PHRF), an X-342, rounded out the field.

The NYC Rum Series continues Thursday with Race No. 3. The public is invited to view the competition from the jetty wall. First flag for the event flies at 5 p.m.

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