Intense competition among the three Olson 30 boats and tricky winds in the 15-25 knot range churned up excitement, Thursday during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club’s Junior Series, Race No. 3.
Speedy, one of the Olsons, took the start, but Fast Company, with Sol Trevino as its junior, had wrestled the lead on the return from the outside mark of the first leg of three.
OZone, the third Olson 30, was on Fast Company’s tail.
This same scenario played out in the second leg, but on the third and final leg, things got interesting.
Fast Company held the lead around the No. 2 mark at the cliff, but en route to the No. 11 can at the harbor entrance, OZone, with Melissa Rapozo as its junior, unfurled its spinnaker, gaining ground on Fast Company.
This prompted Fast Company to try and raise its chute, heading into the No. 7 mark, but never quite got it to fly, giving the lead to OZone at the No. 11 can.
Heading to the finish line, both Olson 30s went head-to-head, OZone being on the outside track of the jetty wall and Fast Company hugging the wall heading directly for the No. 6 red can, closest to the jetty wall.
OZone was on port tack and tacked to starboard to cross the finish line, said Sharon Gibson of the NYC Race Committee.
Fast Company could not hold her line without colliding with OZone, tacking just past the red No. 6 can, making contact with it on the turn.
“The crew was fending off the can as the boat just rolled around it, and in all the excitement, Fast Company gathered her crew, a few in the water, and headed in, never actually crossing the finish line,” Gibson said.
The finish line, the green No. 5 can and the NYC Race Committee flag, was just another second or two past the red can.
Fast Company in a scramble to collect its crew following the red can incident, never got the finish horn.
“It was really close,” said Clarence Ishida who was at the wedding celebration at the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, Friday morning. “Chris Jordan did a great job and Fast Company was just so close.”
OZone, with the win, dedicated this race to her foredeck crewman, Joel Ehrlich who passed Wednesday night, Gibson said.
OZone finished the 5.8-mile nail-biter on an elapsed sail of 1:02:30, correcting to 1:02:36 PHRF for the win.
Papa‘au, with Ashley Orens as its junior, finished second on a 1:11:36 elapsed sail, correcting to 1:08:33 PHRF followed by Bonjolea, carrying Joshua Yasis as its junior, crossing on a 1:14:26 elapsed sail and correcting to 1:11:34 PHRF.
Coyote, with no junior aboard, crossed on a 1:15:29 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:10:42 PHRF followed by Speedy, also with no junior aboard, crossing on a 1:05 elapsed sail and correcting to 1:05:16 PHRF.
The Nawiliwili Yacht Club pauses for a Father’s Day celebration with its annual Father’s Day Fishing Contest, Sunday before resuming the final race of the Junior Series, Thursday.
The public is invited to join the fun at the annual fishing derby which opens registration from 10:30 a.m. at the NYC Clubhouse located at the Nawiliwili Yacht Club.
Fishing continues until 12:30 p.m. with prizes being awarded at 1:30 p.m.
There is a $5 registration fee for anglers between 3 to 13 years old and includes a hot dog and soda lunch.
Anglers must bring their own bucket, pole and bait.
For more information, visit www.nawiliwiliyachtclub.org or call 742-2512.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.