NAWILIWILI — There’s something to be said for hugging the starting line.
“Fast Company,” an Olson 30, did just that as the minutes ticked down to the starting horn, Thursday, the final race of the Junior Series hosted by the Nawiliwili Yacht Club.
“He’s already got three wins and with no throw-outs, it’ll be pretty hard for anyone to beat him,” Sharon Gibson, the NYC scorekeeper said.
But for Jim Saylor and the crew aboard “Fast Company,” none of that mattered as they slipped into the lead at the starting horn, and only after a brief exchange with “Malihini,” a 35-foot catamaran, regained the lead and held it to win the race.
With the win that came on a 54:41 elapsed time sail on the 4.9-mile course, “Fast Company” finished with a 54:46 PHRF corrected time.
The Thursday win gives the “Fast Company” crew 4 points and the top slot for the series.
But within the race, there were other races as “OZone,” an Olson 30 and “Lelele,” a Wells 30 waged their own battle for second place, separated by just a short span of water before “Papa‘au,” an Express 27, and “Speedy,” an Olson 30, wrangled for fourth place.
Jumping off the start line, Malihini sliced through the water to overtake the field and take a short lead heading out to the Ninini Point turnaround.
But on the return leg, five spinnakers blossomed in the 5-10 knot winds and “Fast Company’s” bright red sail signaled the positioning.
As the boats battled through the dead air at the can marking the entrance to Kalapaki Bay, the races within the race became evident as colorful spinnakers withered in the dead air before reblooming on the outside of the turn.
“OZone” finished the battle in second place with a 56:08 PHRF and took the overall second place in the series with 9 points.
“Lelele” filled in third place on a 57:44 PHRF sail and third overall in the series with 13 points.
“Papa‘au” ended the day in fourth on a 57:44 PHRF sail and topped the Club Open class in the series with 13 points.
She was closely followed by “Speedy” who finished just nine seconds back on the 57:53 PHRF correction. That earned her a second place in the Club Open class for the series with 15 points.
“Malihini,” whose racing chute was not conducive the short shoreline racing course, finished without the benefit of the spinnaker and stopped the clock at 1:03:36 PHRF and third in the Club Open class with 20 points.
With the completion of the Junior Series, the Nawiliwili Yacht Club will host a pair of races during the July Fourth weekend when it sets sail on the Offshore Series, Race No. 5 from Nawiliwili to Hanalei on July 4.
Race No. 6 in that series will take place on July 6 when the yachts sail from Hanalei back to Nawiliwili.
Following that, the three-race Wahine Series gets underway starting July 10.
The public is invited to view what promises to be an exciting series when ladies take their turn at steering the yachts through the courses.
First flag flies at 5 p.m. with the best spot to view the competition being at the jetty wall.