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Papa Au chasing the lead

NAWILILWILI — Papa Au won the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Horse and Pony Series, Race No. 3, Thursday and faces a point deficit for the lead heading to the final race of the series.

Kevin Arndt, NYC Rear Commodore, said winds on race day threw a challenge to the racers with a northerly component creating gusty winds out of the north-northeast. This put a test for the racers, requiring local knowledge, good sail handling and a little luck to win the race.

“A few of the boats got the wind just right following the start,” Arndt said. “They were able to make it out of the harbor and make the lay line to the Ninini Lighthouse turnaround buoy in one tack.”

Papa Au played the wind shifts and surfed the choppy waves to finish the race in third place overall on an elapsed sail of 42 minutes, 32 seconds, correcting to 40:43 PHRF for the first finish in the horse, or big boat phase of the race. Fast Company chased OZone by eight seconds on the elapsed sail, crossing at 40:56 to OZone’s 40:48 sail. The PHRF correction put OZone in second place at 40:51 PHRF followed by Fast Company at 40:59 PHRF.

Fast Company helmsman Jim Saylor piloted his topper, or pony phase, to a first finish, a feat he’s accomplished the previous two races. The effort fell short as Ed Tschupp from Papa Au navigated his topper to a second finish, edging out Chris Jordan of OZone.

Despite Saylor’s strong finish in the pony phase, the effort could not wrest the lead from Papa Au who finished the overall race with 3 points followed by Fast Company at 4 points and OZone rounding out the leaders at 5 points.

The results, with the protest from Race No. 2 remaining in dispute, puts Fast Company in the lead with 10 points and Papa Au challenging at 11 points. OZone is in third place at 15 points over the three-race spread.

Other boats participating in last Thursday’s race included Weatherly, Speedy and Bonjolea II.

The final race gets under way Thursday when the NYC Race Committee flies the first flag at 5 p.m.

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