NAWILIWILI — Smart skippering at the start earned Kato, an Olson 30, a first finish Thursday afternoon during the final race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Glen Hontz Memorial Series at Nawiliwili Harbor.
Hampered by the departure of the 400-foot LPG tanker, the Penelope M, the delayed start saw Kato’s crew maneuver just ahead of the pack as the start horn started. She kept the lead throughout the three legs covering 2.1 miles under easterly winds puffing in the 2- to 9-knot neighborhood.
Kato crossed the finish line on an elapsed sail of 44 minutes, 58 seconds, correcting to 45:02 PHRF for top honors in the final race of the six-race series, and her only first place in six races.
Kato had a strong challenge by Fast Company, skippered by Jim Saylor. Fast Company stayed on Kato’s heels through the first leg, but dropped to OZone on the outbound leg to the Ninini Point turnaround.
The battle for second place continued between the pair of Olson 30s, OZone filing a protest which was later withdrawn. In the melee, OZone pushed Fast Company into third place, the first time in six races Saylor settled for less than second place.
OZone slipped across the finish line on a 45:41 sail, correcting to 45:45 PHRF, just 11 ticks ahead of Fast Company who cross on a 45:50 elapsed sail, just nine ticks behind OZone, and correcting to 45:54 PHRF.
Fast Company threw out the results of Thursday race to finish the overall standings at seven points and claiming the first-place trophy for the Glen Hontz Memorial Series followed by OZone at 11 points and Kato settling for third place a point behind OZone at 12 points.
Other boats competing in the final race included Bonjolea II (47:13 elapsed, 50:18 PHRF), Papa‘au (48:34 elapsed, 46:29 PHRF), Trinity (49:55 elapsed, 56:49 PHRF), Weatherly (50:52 elapsed, 50:56 PHRF), Speedy (53:39 elapsed, 53:43 PHRF), Kaos (54:10 elapsed, 54:30 PHRF), Coyote (1:00:34 elapsed, 56:43 PHRF), and Windspan (1:05.06 elapsed, 12:03:26 PHRF).
Papa‘au corrected to 45:02 Club to claim top honors in that class followed by Weatherly correcting to 46:18 Club, and Trinity settling at 47:01 Club.
Weatherly claimed top honors in the six-race Club class with 19 points followed by Trinity with 23 points, and Papa‘au getting third after tying Trinity at 23 points.
The next NYC race will be on April 6 with the opening race of the Louie Abrams Memorial Rum Race. First flags fly at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor.