NAWILIWILI — A tactical error proved costly to “OZone” during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Series, Race No. 5, Thursday.
“Fast Company,” an Olson 30 under Jim Saylor’s hand, capitalized on the error to take the race on a 51:13 elapsed time (51:13 PHRF) to cap an afternoon filled with excitement churned up by the 15-20 knot winds blowing in from the Northeast.
With the brisk winds stirring up choppy seas, the NYC Race Committee opted to give the yachters a three-leg course for a total of 4.51 miles.
“Lelele,” a Wells 30, shot off the clean start and was first off the turn at the breakwater.
“Whatever she did, she did it right because she’s in the lead,” said Sharon Gibson, the NYC scorekeeper.
That lead stood through the outbound leg to the Ninini Point Lighthouse turn and back into the harbor.
The three front boats — “Lelele,” “Fast Company,” and “OZone” stayed close to each other with the lead changing through the two inland courses.
Gibson said at one point, “Lelele” had the lead on the first inside lap, but had trouble setting her chute and was overtaken by “OZone,” another of the Olson 30s.
On the final leg, “Fast Company” broke the logjam and emerged first from the marker followed by “Lelele” and “OZone.”
But coming off the turn, “OZone” made a 360 degree turn after rounding the No. 11 can, indicating that she had fouled by touching the mark.
At the finish line, “OZone” made a tactical error and finished on the outside of the pin end of the finish line and had to go back and re-finish, Gibson said. That caused her a costly two minutes and 41 seconds for an elapsed time of 56:43 (56:48 PHRF) and fifth place.
“Lelele” finished second overall with a 52:14 elapsed sail (52:04 PHRF) followed by “Speedy” crossing at 54:44 elapsed (54:49 PHRF) and “Papa‘au” finishing at 57:21 elapsed, but catapulting to fourth on the 54:54 PHRF correction.
“OZone” and “Coyote” (1:08:59 elapsed, 1:04:37 PHRF) rounded out the field after “Bonjolea” withdrew from the race after being struck by “OZone” in a pre-race incident.
Gibson said damage to “Bonjolea” was hopefully not severe enough to keep her out of Thursday’s race, the final race in the NYC Rum Series.
Entering the race, “Lelele” held a one point lead in the standings with “Fast Company” and “OZone” tied for second place.
As it stands, Thursday’s finale should be just that — a race for the gold.
The public is invited to view the excitement at no charge from the vantage point of the jetty wall where NYC members, crew member families, and Race Committee members are happy to explain the events taking place on the water.
There is also a post-race party at the NYC Clubhouse located at the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor.
First flags fly at 4:45 p.m. Thursday.