Jim Saylor and the crew aboard Fast Company got a good grip on the lead of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Glen Hontz Memorial Series by taking the fifth race of the six-race series Thursday under threatening skies.
“The racers of the NYC are still fiercely competitive, even though Fast Company has the Glen Hontz Memorial Race first place trophy virtually in hand,” said Kevin Arndt, the NYC Rear Commodore. “A black ominous rain cloud hung over Lihue, foretelling a change was forthcoming. It was a change, but not for the wind or weather, but for who led the race.”
Fast Company outran Papa‘au, winner of the second race of the series, at the start and despite a strong challenge by Kato who maintained a lead for most of the race. Saylor piloted Fast Company over the finish line on a sail of 57 minutes, 10 seconds, correcting to 57:17 PHRF for top honors.
Kato, on starboard tack, had enough boat speed off the start and made up the distance advantage held by Fast Company and Papa‘au, forcing them to her stern. Despite only this lead through most of the race, she lost the lead to Fast Company who peeled away the three-boat lead after rounding the leeward mark, sounding the finish horn at 57:47 and correcting to 57:52 PPHRF and second place.
OZone, winning the third race of the series, was relegated to the third berth, crossing at 58:54 elapsed and correcting to 58:59 PHRF.
She was followed by Papa‘au (1:07:08 elapsed, 1:04:15 PHRF), Weatherly (1:05:57 elapsed, 1:06:03 PHRF), Kaos (1:05:40 elapsed, 1:06:04 PHRF), Speedy (1:12:28 elapsed, 1:12:34 PHRF), Bonjolea II (1:09:48 elapsed, 1:14:22 PHRF), Trinity (1:06:14 elapsed, 1:15:23 PHRF), and Coyote (21:39:55 elapsed, 1:24:12 PHRF).
With the victory, Fast Company sits in the lead with five points overall, challenged by OZone at nine points, and Papa‘au and Kato tied for third place with 11 points.
Arndt said he expects the final race to be an exciting one as the NYC racers challenge the race leaders.
The final race of the Glen Hontz Memorial Series will be contested Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor.