Fast Company rides trades to win

LIHUE — Fast Company earned top honors Thursday during the third race of the Nawilwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

The return of trade winds blowing in the 15 to 20 mph range from the northwest brought life to the eight-boat fleet over the three-leg, 5.8-mile course run over unusually smooth water.

Papaau, an Express 27, took advantage of the conditions, jumping out to an early two-boat lead with Bonjolea II and Fast Company putting on a strong challenge to the lead.

“Down-wind spinnaker skills won the show,” said NYC Rear Commodore Fred Styer. “Fast Company held closely behind Bonjolea II, who took first to finish honors on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 4 minutes, 23 seconds, but conceded first place PHRF Open Class honors to Fast Company (1:05:33 elapsed sail).”

Fast Company claimed the top spot after correcting to 1:05:39 PHRF with Bonjolea II settling at 1:08:36 PHRF for fourth place in the PHRF Open Class.

With the win in the third race, Fast Company, Bonjolea II, and OZone each have a first finish after OZone captured the opener and Bonjolea II took the second race.

Another battle loomed for third place as OZone battled with Trinity, the sole trimaran in the fleet, with the Olson 30 sliding across the finish line at 1:07:18 elapsed sail followed by Trinity less than 30 seconds later at 1:07:40 elapsed sail.

The PHRF corrections gave OZone second place at 1:07:24 PHRF. Trinity corrected to 1:17:02 PHRF. Trinity also corrected to 1:00:28 Club for top honors in that division.

“Papaau, who mastered a two-boat lead at the line, poured on an impressive sprint during the final in-harbor leg to capture third place in the PHRF standings behind OZone and Fast Company,” Styer said.

The Express 27 posted a 1:10:49 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:07:48 PHRF for its third place finish, 24 seconds behind OZone.

Following Bonjolea II, Weatherly (1:11:23 elapsed, 1:11:30 PHRF), Coyote (1:17:08 elapsed, 1:12:15 PHRF), Speedy (1:16:34 elapsed, 1:16:41 PHRF) and Trinity rouned out the fleet.

The fourth race of the seven-race Gene Wells Memorial Series takes place Thursday afternoon at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall area when first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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