NAWILIWILI — Shale Shore kept Weatherly in the chase on Thursday as the Nawiliwili Yacht Club opened its Horse and Pony series races.
The strong trades, which buffeted the Islands last week, played havoc with the field of six boats jockeying in the 15- to 25-knot Northeast trades that churned up swells outside the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty and breakwater.
As the boats qued for the start, Weatherly bumped Bonjolea II and became the first casualty of the race, when it took a Did Not Start.
Fast Company, piloted by its skipper Jim Saylor, held the lead coming into the harbor from the Ninini Point turnaround, but on the turn leading inland, the trades snatched its spinnaker while OZone, challenging from its No. 2 position, steered clear.
The spinnaker issue slowed Fast Company enough to relinquish its lead to OZone, which went on to cross first on a 31:14 elapsed sail, correcting to 30:41 PHRF.
Fast Company finished in the No. 2 spot after recovering from its spinnaker woes on a 31:14 elapsed sail and corrected for 31:17 PHRF.
The correction, however, was not enough to secure a second place win as Papaau, staying clear of trouble in its solid No. 3 position, crossed on a 32:36 elapsed sail and corrected to 31:12 PHRF — five seconds ahead of Fast Company.
Bonjolea II, recovering from its start line bump, filled in the No. 4 position on a 33:08 elapsed sail and corrected to 35:18 PHRF followed by Speedy crossing on a 37:09 elapsed sail and correcting to 37:12 PHRF.
But the race was not over as the Ponys took over. Skippers from the big boats, or Horses, attempted to take the stick of the Toppers, or Ponys, on an inland course.
“The results of both the big boat and the small boats are added together to give the overall race results,” said Sharon Gibson, the Nawiliwili Yacht Club scorekeeper. “Although Weatherly took a DNS for the Horse race, its Pony skipper Shale Shore, an instructor in the Kauai Sailing Association Learn to Sail classes, finished in third place for the Pony race to keep Weatherly in the series.”
With the sun sinking low on the horizon, the winds let up enough for the Ponies to race to the Red No. 5 can turnaround. The race for the lead was waged by Saylor of Fast Company and Ed Tschupp of Papaau.
Saylor topped the Pony race followed by Tschupp, Shore, Steve Mitchell from OZone, John Ross from Bonjolea II, and Eric Olsen from Speedy.
The overall results put Fast Company and Papaau in a tie for the lead. Gibson said there also is a tie for third place.
“PHRF and CLUB points will be kept for all boats and when PHRF winners are determined, the remaining boats vie for CLUB trophies based on their points,” Gibson said.
The public is invited to view the excitement Thursday, when the second race of the NYC Horse and Pony series unfolds. The first flags fly at 5 p.m.