OZone stays ahead of red flag

NAWILIWILI — The winds were right. The competition was keen, and a red flag slowed the process of race results Thursday afternoon when the Nawiliwili Yacht Club hosted the second race of its Horse and Pony Shoreline Series.

Coming in from the Ninini Lighthouse turnaround in the horse, or big boat, segment of the race, OZone was clearly in the lead with Fast Company breathing down its back, Bonjolea II taking a more left tack and Speedy and Papa Au picking up the tail end of the fleet.

“Heading for the Green 11 marker, the fleet was packed in tight,” said NYC Rear Commodore Kevin Arndt. “A traffic jam resulted as the pack rounded the mark for the final straightaway home. Papa Au touched the bouy and Speedy contacted Papa Au. The red flag sprouted on Papa Au’s sail line.”

OZone went on to finish the horse race on an elapsed sail of 25 minutes, 24 seconds, correcting to 25:26 PHRF followed by Fast Company (26:40 elapsed sail, 26:42 PHRF), Papa Au (28:17 elapsed sail, 27:04 PHRF), Speedy (27:25 elapsed sail, 27:27 PHRF), and Bonjolea II (25:57 elapsed sail, 27:39 PHRF).

Those were the finish order for the horses. A crew member of each horse then took to the toppers, or small sloops, for the pony, or small boat race whose start was slightly delayed due to the departure of the Penelope, a liquid propane tanker flying the flag of Malta.

“Jim’s really good on the little boats,” said Paula Saylor, Jim’s wife who left the mole area once Fast Company’s helmsman eked out a lead in the winds blowing 8 to 12 knots out of the northeast.

Saylor reversed the order of the horse race, giving Fast Company the lead, challenged by Chris Jordan from OZone, Sean Hoban from the Speedy crew. Kevin Millett of Papa Au and Mike Armstrong from the Bonjolea II crew rounded out the field. Hoban drew the gaze of the audience lining the breakwater wall near the small boat launch when his topper huli-ed in the wind, but the order never changed.

The results, pending outcome from the red flag protest meeting, had OZone and Fast Company tied at three points apiece. Another traffic jam resulted as Papa Au, winning the first race of the series, tied with Speedy for second place at seven points each. Bonjolea II rounded out the fleet at 10 points.

During the club class corrections, OZone and Speedy emerged tied for the lead at four points apiece followed a point back by Fast Companuy and Papa Au in third place at seven points.

The public is invited to view the third race of the series on Thursday when the Race Committee flies the first flags at 5 p.m. from the jetty wall area of the Nawiliwili Harbor.

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