Kato win not enough to take OZone’s lead

NAWILIWILI — Kato took the latest race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Louie Abrams Memorial Rum Series Thursday, but OZone continues to hold the lead in the series which has one more race remaining.

“OZone was the points leader at the start of the fifth race of the six-race series,” said Kevin Arndt, the NYC Rear Commodore. “Close behind her in points, Kato and Fast Company are keen on wrestling the lead at any sign of weakness.”

The keen competition between the trio of Olson 30s had the lead boats — Kato, OZone and Fast Company — shooting off the line with the boats behind in the pack having to deal with the bad air coming off the leaders.

“The start had the fleet favoring the starboard end of the line with the boats bow-to-stern, three deep in a tight grouping,” Arndt said in the brisk 10 to 13 knot winds blowing out of the northeast, a complete turn around from the light variable Kona winds from last week.

The fleet moved to the first buoy with the exception of three boats who rounded the buoy opposite the eight others ahead of them, and instead of heading out to the Ninini Point turnaround, headed inland for a different mark, causing spectators to throw up their arms in dismay and confusion.

“These boats unfortunately had read the course board before the Race Committee had corrected a problem with a transposed course designation well before the start,” Arndt said. “The official course is what is shown at the time of the start sequence. I was on one of the boats that went the wrong way so saw all the action from afar. These three boats were scored a Did Not Finish for not sailing the correct course and received 11 points, equal to the number of starters in the race.”

Kato kept its position for the entire race which was limited to two legs so the post race Cinco de Mayo festivities could begin. She crossed on an elapsed sail of 37 minutes, 31 seconds and corrected to 37:34 PHRF for top honors in the Thursday race. OZone crossed second at 39:06 elapsed and corrected to 39:10 PHRF with Fast Company crossing just 24 seconds behind OZone and corrected to 39:34 PHRF for third place.

Club class honors went to Coyote who corrected to 39:10 Club followed by Papa a‘u correcting to 40:44 Club, and Weatherly, the series leader, at 41:43 Club.

Despite the second place finish, OZone continues to hold the PHRF class lead in the series with 6 points, just two points behind Kato and four points ahead of Fast Company.

This sets the stage for the final race of the Louie Abrams shoreline series Thursday when the final leader can be determined.

The public is invited to view this final race when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall area.

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