Fast Company braves wind to claim Wells Series

NAWILIWILI — Gusty winds blowing at 10 to 15 knots out of the east- northeast played havoc with the fleet of boats competing in the final race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Series Thursday afternoon at Nawiliwili Harbor.

Kevin Arndt, the NYC rear commodore, said the previous six races in the Wells Series were gusty, creating fierce competition among the boats.

“It was no surprise when the inevitable gear failure showed its ugly head,” Arndt said. “First, Weatherly broke her jib halyard, the crew dousing the jib and trying to use the spinnaker halyard in its place. But the halyard parted, and with no spare halyards remaining, Weatherly dropped out of the nine-boat race and sailed back to the dock under main sail alone.”

In the heat of battle on the six-mile course, Fast Company snapped her jib halyard on the final windward leg, dropping behind Bonjolea II and OZone. Despite the damage, Fast Company limped across the line in third place in one of the closest finishes the yacht club has seen.

OZone captured the top spot on an overall sail of 53 minutes, 13 seconds, correcting to 53:17 PHRF. OZone’s elapsed sail finish was just eight seconds ahead of Bonjolea II who sounded the finish horn at 53:21. But the PHRF correction (56:50 PHRF) placed her in third as Fast Company tripped the horn at 53:43 and corrected to 53:47 PHRF for second place.

The Fast Company finish was enough to bring her to a tie with OZone in overall points standings at 10 points each.

Entering the race, Fast Company was poised to capture the overall series honor with four first place bullets against OZone’s two first place finishes. After applying the tie breaker standards, Fast Company claimed the series honor followed by OZone, and Bonjolea II filling in the third place at 16 points.

The Wells Series Club Open class winners saw Trinity claiming the trophy at 11 points followed by Weatherly at 14 points and Speedy getting bronze medal honors at 35 points.

Next on the NYC Race Committee calendar is the annual Halloween Costume Race and Party Thursday starting at 5 p.m.

The public is invited to view the boat crews decked out in costumes and help the Race Committee judge the boats for costume winners.

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