Trades add excitement to Rum Series

The winds returned, and so did “OZone.”

Following two weeks of no-wind conditions, the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Race Committee welcomed the trades back as “OZone,” an Olson 30, took advantage of the 10-15 knot winds out of the north-northeast to re-enter the winner’s circle, Thursday.

“Fast Company,” skippered by Jim Saylor, was a little too anxious and jumped the starting horn at the NYC Rum Series, Race No. 4, having to go back and restart, said Sharon Gibson, the NYC scorekeeper.

Despite the setback, “Fast Company” recovered and a three-way battle for the lead between her, “OZone,” and “Lelele,” a Wells 35, dominated the front portion of the race which, in celebration of the trades’ return, ran two legs for a distance of 3.4 miles.

With the leaders bunch heading into the final turn, “Fast Company” had more than made up for its early start and rounded first.

“Fast Company” and “Lelele” shared a starboard tack on each other’s hulls, but “OZone” tacked off to port heading for the finish line.

That maneuver by “OZone” proved to be the right choice as she crossed the line on a 41:29 sail, 49 seconds ahead of “Lelele” who got the second overall finish with an elapsed 42:18. “Fast Company” was in “Lelele’s” wake just seven seconds later (42:25) providing the full crowd of spectators an exciting climax.

With the PHRF corrections, “OZone” claimed victory on a 41:33 PHRF sail, but “Papa‘au,” an Express 27, moved to the second place with a 41:57 PHRF despite finishing fourth overall on a 43:49 elapsed time.

“Lelele,” a consistent first finisher through the Dick Becker Memorial Series and the Rum Series, was edged into third place on a 42:10 PHRF adjustment followed by “Fast Company” (42:29 PHRF).

“Bonjolea,” an X-342 skippered by Doug Tiffany, (45:34 PHRF), “Speedy,” the third Olson 30 in the race, (47:57 PHRF) and “Coyote,” a C&C 38, (52:08 PHRF) rounded out the field.

The “OZone” victory puts the Rum Series into a scramble for the lead with just two races remaining as “OZone” and “Fast Company” are in a tie for second place, just a point behind “Lelele” who maintains the lead in the series.

NYC invites the public to view the competitive series on Thursday at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall starting at 4:45 p.m.

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