Despite quiet wind at Nawiliwili Harbor, penalty turns provided OZone the margin of victory Thursday when the Nawiliwili Yacht Club hosted its first race of the Junior Invitational Series.
Winds blowing in the four- to six-knot range out of the east posed a challenge to skippers of the eight-boat fleet as the pack broke into two fields — one taking the port tack and the other, the starboard tack.
“It was soon evident the starboard tack boats had made the right choice,” said Kevin Arndt, the NYC Rear Commodore. “They were well ahead of the port tackers racing out to the Ninini Point Lighthouse buoy.”
OZone, Fast Company and Bonjolea II were the trio jockeying through the three-leg 5.91-mile course in the lead pack, returning inland close to the spectators on the Kalapaki sea wall with their spinnakers in full bloom.
The boats converged on the far turn where the balloons on both Fast Company and Bonjolea II touched the rigging of OZone resulting in both boats having to negotiate penalty turns — two full 360-degree turns.
Those penalties locked up the race for OZone who crossed the finish line on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 52 seconds, correcting to 1:11:58 PHRF for the victory with Sienna Temme as its required junior crew, a young person between the age of 8 and 18 years old.
Fast Company, with Jack Collins serving as its junior crew, followed nearly three minutes later (1:14:53 elapsed, 1:14:59 PHRF), and Papa au, an Express 27 who steered clear of the leadership fray with Jermane Croz as its juniork filled in the No. 3 spot on a 1:20:51 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:17:23 PHRF.
Hannah Asquith was the designated junior aboard Weatherly, an Olson 30 which normally is crewed by a young crew, who filled in the No. 4 spot on a 1:18:31 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:18:38 PHRF. Weatherly also corrected to 1:11:22 Club for top honors in that class.
Bonjolea II, with Nick Collins as its junior, followed (1:14:16 elapsed, 1:19:08 PHRF). Speedy, with Liliane Parry as its junior, (1:22:46 elapsed 1:22:53 PHRF), Trinity, with Ansley as its junior member (1:23:44 elapsed, 1:35:19 PHRF), and Coyote, with no junior member (1:30:13 elapsed, 1:24:29 PHRF), rounded out the fleet.
The Junior Series continues Thursday and spectators are invited to view the competition with the NYC Race Committee at the mole, the description applied to the parking area at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall area by the NYC Race Committee, when first flags fly at 5 p.m.