NAWILIWILI — Papaau perservered through penalty turns, spinnaker woes, and other excitement churned up in the Nawiliwili Harbor waters to take the race Thursday.
Taking the port tack at the start, Papaau surged to the lead at the horn of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Horse and Pony Series, Race No. 3 of 4 in winds of 7 to 10 mph out of the North Northeast.
Jockeying through the winds and penalty turns, Bonjolea II held the lead over Trinity, an F-28 trimaran, coming in off the opening leg to the Ninini Point turnaround.
The fleet trimaran took advantage of dead air at the Kalapaki Bay turn and went on to overtake Bonjolea II on the in-harbor leg only to lose the lead on the final stretch. Bonjolea II sounded the horn at 39 minutes, 48 seconds to Trinity’s 40:54 and Ozone slipping across at 41:27.
What followed provided fans with one of the exciting moments of the race when Papaau, coming off the wall tack headed for the finish line while Fast Company traced a line on the mountain-side of the bay.
“This is going to be tight,” said Sharon Gibson of the NYC race committee.
She was correct as both boats went for the line. Papaau flew a red flag of protest and slipped across at 43:43, a mere seven ticks ahead of Fast Company at 43:50.
The tight finish placed Papaau into the No. 2 berth of the PHRF class as she corrected to 41:51 PHRF, just 20 seconds below Ozone who corrected to 41:31 PHRF. Fast Company filled in the No. 3 spot on a 43:54 PHRF correction.
Trinity, with its first overall finish, corrected to 35:37 Club for top honors in that class followed by Papaau (39:43 Club) and Coyote, crossing on a 51:23 elapsed sail and correcting to 48:08 PHRF, filled in the No. 3 Club spot on a 40:26 Club correction.
That was the Horse, or big boat, phase of the race.
On the Pony, or small boat, phase, Papaau crossed the line first for a combined three points and first place for the race.
The final race of the NYC Horse and Pony Series gets underway Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.