NAWILIWILI — An hour glass was the difference between first and second place Thursday at the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series, Race No. 5.
Following two legs of the three-leg race, OZone had managed to wrestle the lead from Fast Company, who had established the forerunner position off the starting line.
Sailing in winds of seven to 12 knots out of the Northeast, the two Olson 30s hounded each other.
Heading into the final turn in the outer harbor, OZone squeezed the inside line to overtake Fast Company.
The wind helped Fast Company, as OZone’s spinnaker hour-glassed during its rise.
Fast Company’s spinnaker slipped up the mast without incident and overtook the crew, who struggled to free the hour-glassed sail.
From there, Fast Company held off OZone, slipping across the finish at 1 hour, 3 minutes and 2 seconds on the elapsed sail, later correcting to 1:03:08 PHRF for top honors in the fifth race of the seven-race series.
Because both boats were Olson 30s, the PHRF factors were identical giving spectators an unofficial finish, which would pretty much bear out in the books.
OZone crossed on a 1:04:00 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:04:06 PHRF for second place.
The battle for third place congested the finish line as three boats vied for the third spot, crossing within a minute’s difference between them.
The battle for third was waged between Papaau, Weatherly and Chaos, making its first appearance in the series.
Papaau was first across at 1:09:00 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:06:03 PHRF for third place, followed 26 seconds later in elapsed sail by Weatherly, who sounded the finish horn at 1:09:26 elapsed, but correcting to 1:09:32 PHRF for fourth place, more than three minutes back of Papaau.
Chaos crossed the line at 1:09:50 elapsed and corrected to 1:10:16 PHRF for fifth place.
Trinity, an F-28 Trimaran, crossed at 1:08:41 elapsed, but correcting to 1:18:11 PHRF for seventh place.
Trinity also corrected to 1:00:25 Club for top honors in that class, its fifth straight week of winning the club class.
Speedy, doing the post-race cooking honors, rounded out the field on a 1:12:43 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:12:60 PHRF.
Sharon Gibson, of the NYC Race Committee, said with just two more races remaining in the seven-race Gene Wells Memorial Series, Fast Company holds the lead by just two points over OZone.
Bonjolea II, who did not race Thursday, is tied with Weatherly and Papaau for third place, all three boats holding 16 points with just two races remaining.
Speedy and Trinity round out the standings after five races.
Trinity, taking five straight Club class wins, holds the lead in that class with four points followed by Fast Company at 13 points, just a point ahead of OZone who sits in third with 14 points. Speedy is in fourth place with 16 points, just a point ahead of Papaau with 17 points. Weatherly rounds out the field with 18 points.
With the standings that close, Gibson said the remaining two races are important.
The public is invited to view the competition with the Race Committee at the jetty wall area of Nawiliwili Harbor Thursday when the first flags for the sixth race fly at 5 p.m.
Visit www.nawiliwiliyachtclub.org for more information.