KALAPAKI — OZone captured the first race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Louis Abrams Memorial Rum Race Series Thursday.
“Before the start of the race, the crew of Papa‘au streamed flower petals in the wake of the boat in remembrance of their fellow crew member,” said NYC Rear Commodore Kevin Arndt. “It appeared there was a moment of quiet when the eight-boat fleet gave respect to their fellow yachtsman. Then, the race started and, in spirit, Louis showed his gratitude by giving Papa‘au the best start of the fleet.”
OZone was also well-positioned as she and Papa‘au headed for the Kalapaki Bay rounding.
“At the buoy, a traffic jam that would rival those seen in Kapaa took place,” Arndt said. “Fast Company fouled Papa‘au and sent Fast Company into penalty turns.”
Bonjolea II took advantage of the jam and ensuing penalty turn to grab the lead to the Ninini Lighthouse buoy in winds of 5 to 10 knots out of the northeast.
OZone challenged for the lead heading back to the harbor, but could not overcome the Sydney 36 despite the confusion of the departure of a commercial barge.
With all boats observing the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, the race continued without incident, Bonjolea II slipping across the finish line at 1 hour, 10 minutes, 53 seconds elapsed. She corrected to 1:10:53 PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet, a system used to allow dissimilar classes of sailboats to race against each other) to settle in fourth place as OZone, crossing second overall at 1:13.48 elapsed, corrected to 1:13:55 PHRF for top honors.
Fast Company recovered from its penalty to finish at 1:14:34 elapsed and corrected to 1:14:41 PHRF, followed by Papa‘au crossing at 1:18:39 elapsed and correcting to 1:15:17 PHRF — a mere 15 seconds ahead of Bonjolea II.
The rest of the fleet included Kato (1:18:13 elapsed, 1:18:20 PHRF), Speedy (1:24:58 elapsed, 1:25:06 PHRF), Kaos (1:28:02 elapsed, 1:28:35 PHRF), and Trinity (1:22:38 elapsed, 1:34:04 PHRF).
Bonjolea II corrected to 1:12:40 Club (another handicapping system) to finish first in that class followed by Speedy (1:14:50 Club), and Kato (1:16:00 Club).
The next race for the NYC Louis Abrams Memorial Rum Race Series will take place Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.