NAWILIWILI — Bill Evslin made the difference for “Fast Company,” Thursday, at the Nawiliwili Yacht Club’s Horse and Pony Series, Race No. 3.
“Fast Company” held a one-point lead entering the final race of the series, but was being challenged by “OZone” and “Lelele,” the winner of last week’s race. Point standings entering the race saw “Fast Company” with 3 points followed by “OZone” and “Lelele” holding 4 and 5 points, respectively.
Last week, “Fast Company” finished the Horse portion of the race in fifth place, but Jim Saylor piloted the Pony (laser) to a first finish for and overall second place finish. “Lelele” finished second in the Horse portion of the race, but its Pony pilot overcame a tumble in the sea to capture top overall.
That close scenario set the stage for Thursday’s race as “OZone” and “Lelele” both jumped the start and had to restart. That gave “Fast Company” a good lead which held until the inland portion of the first leg when “OZone” wrestled the lead from “Fast Company” entering the harbor from the outbound Ninini Point turnaround.
The jockeying continued to the No. 11 can as “Fast Company” opted for a tack line that took the Olson 30 to the far side while “OZone” opted for the inside of the harbor.
The lead changed again when “Fast Company” fell into a pocket of dead air heading for the second Horse leg of the race, and “OZone” capitalized on that by slipping ahead and finished tops in the Horse portion on a PHRF corrected 36:27 sail over “Fast Company’s” 37:40 PHRF.
“Lelele” (39:02 PHRF), “Coyote” (39:42 PHRF) and “Speedy” (39:58 PHRF) closed the Horse race at third through fifth places, respectively.
But the excitement was stirred in the Pony corral between Grant Wells from “Lelele” and Evslin from “Fast Company.”
Grant rebounded with a solid Pony race and finished first on a 15:20 sail over Evslin’s 15:36 showing.
Combined times between the Horse and Ponies gave the race and the series to Fast Company on a 53:16 sail followed by “OZone,” whose Pony sailor, Steve Mitchell, crossed third on a 17:20 sail for an overall 53:47 sail.
Grant, despite the strong Pony showing, gave “Lelele” a third finish with a 54:22 combined sail.
With “Fast Company” holding first place honors for the Series, “OZone” and “Lelele” finished in a tie for second place, both camps ending with 7 points.
The tie-break rule was used to settle the battle for second place.
“Lelele’s” first-place finish last week proved to be the tie-breaker as “OZone” finished with no first finishes in the three-race series and second place being awarded based on number of first finishes.