Protest flags mar Juniors race

NAWILIWILI — Red protest flags shrouded the top of the leaderboard Thursday when the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Junior Invitational Series hosted its second race.

Fred Styer, NYC rear commodore, said a protest was filed with the Race Committee following the 4.63-mile race to have the matter resolved prior to the next race, which is scheduled for Thursday.

Sailing in winds of 10 to 15 mph out of the northeast, excitement ruled the field as Fast Company and OZone waged a fight for the lead from the start where Papaau, freshly-rigged and painted, committed an over-early and had to circle back to stay in contention.

The tight field offered spectators and the juniors riding the boats its share of excitement as the two leaders, in its fight for the lead, nearly bumped going around the No. 7 green can during the second leg. Speedy, holding the berth in the No. 5 spot, also experienced a close encounter with Trinity, a trimaran in the No. 4 spot at the No. 2 red can.

With the attention riveted to the Fast Company and OZone fight, Bonjolea II, holding a consistent No. 3 spot throughout the race, took the high road and swept in to finish on a 1 hour, 1 minute, 54 seconds elapsed sail, followed by Fast Company (1:02:09) and OZone (1:02:58).

Bonjolea II’s finish was not enough to overcome its PHRF correction, giving the race to Fast Company who corrected to 1:02:15 PHRF followed by OZone who corrected to 1:03:04 PHRF. Bonjolea II corrected to 1:05:58 PHRF for third place.

The win, without the protest ruling, ties up the series with Fast Company and OZone each posting a first finish in the four-race series.

Papaau, despite its over-early, filled in the No. 4 spot on a 1:11:17 elapsed sail, correcting to 1:08:14 PHRF followed by Trinity, the trimaran, crossing on a 1:15:55 elapsed sail and correcting to 1:05:51 PHRF and Speedy getting a 1:10:01 elapsed sail and correcting to 1:19:42 PHRF.

Speedy, who ran the race without a junior, also corrected to 1:02:34 Club for top honors in that class.

Coyote, who started the race without a junior, did not finish.

The bottleneck breaks Thursday when the NYC Race Committee hosts the third race of the series with the first flags flying at 5 p.m.

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