Fast Company overcomes punitive 360’s to take Gene Wells opener

NAWILIWILI — Fast Company and Papa‘au were strapped with penalties, but soared to the top two spots in the Gene Wells Memorial Series, Thursday.

Fast Company commanded the lead spot coming off the sounding horn, but following a pair of 360-degree turns at the start of the second leg, managed to stay just ahead of Papa‘au, crossing the finish line on a 1:03:20 and corrected to a PHRF 1:03:26. That was just a second ahead of Papa‘au who crossed on a 1:06:17 elapsed sail, but corrected to a PHRF 1:03:27.

Her Club correction also topped that class despite relinquishing her leading spot at the pack during the start.  She rendered a penalty turn which put her near the back of the pack when the race started in 10- to 15-knot winds out of the northeast.

Lelele, a Wells 30, created by the series namesake Gene Wells, finished in the No. 3 position on a 1:05:15 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:05:03. Its green hull crossed second overall, but settled for third following the correction.

Speedy, taking the runner-up position behind Fast Company off the finish, settled in the No. 4 berth, crossing at a 1:05:09 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:05:15 PHRF. That was just three seconds ahead of Mapuana, another Wells boat, this time a Wells 35, who crossed with the OZone crew on board at 1:08:37 elapsed and corrected to 1:05:18 PHRF.

OZone, a consistent competitor in the NYC Harbor Series, was absent from the Thursday race because one of its crew was on-call for the hospital.

Coyote rounded out the fleet on a 1:12:17 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:07:12 PHRF.

The seven-race Wells Memorial Series continues Thursday at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

The public is invited to view the action from the jetty wall area when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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