‘Fast Company’ in photo finish over ‘Malihini’

A photo finish with no photographers around resulted in spirited conversation at the post-race party, Thursday, said Sharon Gibson, the Nawiliwili Yacht Club scorekeeper.

“Fast Company,” an Olson 30 skippered by Jim Saylor, managed to regain the lead in the final leg and touched the finish line a split second ahead of “Malihini,” a 35-foot catamaran captained by Doug Gibson.

The finish was so close that the clock recorded elapsed times of 53:12 for both craft, but with the PHRF corrections, “Fast Company was awarded the win on a 53:17 PHRF time over “Malihini’s” 54:33 PHRF.

Taking advantage of trades in the 10-15 knot range, the NYC Race Committee opted for two long courses out to the Ninini Point Lighthouse with the breeze creating issues with spinnakers during the race.

“Fast Company,” not alone in the starting field, took an early lead and held it coming in from the first leg. But “Malihini” wrestled that lead heading into the No. 2 red can located under the I Pali Kai bluff.

“OZone,” the Olson 30 who had to re-start on an early jump, waged her own battle with “Lelele,” a Wells 30, for third place with “Speedy,” another Olson 30, making for an interesting race.

“Malihini” maintained her short lead through the second leg, but heading into the pocket of traditionally dead air, “Fast Company” got the advantage.

Coming into the finish, “Malihini” was strong on “Fast Company’s” tail, but was relegated to the runner-up position at the finish.

“OZone” finished third overall on a 55:07 elapsed (55:12 PHRF) followed by “Lelele” (56:08 PHRF), “Speedy” (58:16 PHRF) and “Papa‘au” (1:00:42 PHRF).

The Junior Invitational Series will host its Race No. 4, the final race in the series, on Thursday, and the NYC Race Committee invites the public to view the tight competition that has prevailed on its three prior races.

First flags fly at 5 p.m. and the best viewing is from the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall area and the road leading to that parking area. There is no charge to see the competition.

For more information, visit the NYC Web site at www.nawiliwiliyachtclub.org

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