Sailboat Junior Invitational races in heavy winds

NAWILIWILI — Spectators were not charged extra for the excitement during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Junior Invitational, Race No. 2, Thursday afternoon at Nawiliwili Harbor.

“Spectators on the mole asked the NYC Race Committee if the excitement would cost extra,” said Kevin Arndt, the NYC Rear Commodore. “The winds were gusting more than 20 knots before the start of the Race No. 2, and OZone, Papa a‘u and Kato took the lead under full loads.”

The course was nearly six miles long and included two trips to the Ninini Point lighthouse buoy to put the fleet in the full force of the gusting trade winds.

OZone kepts its lead to the turnaround, setting its spinnaker for the downwind ride.

“As expected with the strong winds, a few of the boats had gear failures,” Arndt said. “In one instance, a boat had its spinnaker guy line’s shackle break open and release the tack of the sail. Another boat had an outhaul block explode under too much load. The crews recovered quickly and kept the boats well under control.”

But the excitement continued.

“The final downwind leg had some excitement as the fleet sailed past the mole parking lot filled with spectators,” Arndt said. “The mother of all gusts came roaring across the water and hit Kato with full force. It appeared to take place in slow motion as the Olson 30’s spinnaker went one way, and the boat went the other with her crew holding on. The Kato crew managed to gain control of the boat and continued on to the leeward mark despite the continuing wind. This same gust also knocked Papa a‘u sideways and her lee rain went underwater with her boom dragging in the water. Papa a‘u’s spinnaker flayed wildly from her mast head as she recovered and steered to the next buoy.”

In the battle against the elements, OZone preserved its early lead to sound the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 55 seconds, correcting to 1:09:01 PHRF for top honors in the race. Kato followed on a 1:11:54 elapsed sail, correcting to 1:12:01 PHRF for runner up honors.

Fast Company sounded the horn on a 1:14:02 elapsed sail, correcting to 1:14:09 PHRF for third place, just 18 ticks ahead of Papa a‘u (1:17:46 elapsed sail, 1:14:27 PHRF) to fill in the leaderboard.

Speedy, crossing on a 1:17:59 elapsed sail, corrected to 1:08:41 Club for top honors in that class followed by Weatherly correcting to 1:09:04 Club, and Coyote at 1:10:29 Club.

The NYC Race Committee hosts the Jr. Invitational, Race No. 3, Thursday with the first flags flying at 5 p.m. at the jetty wall area at Nawiliwili Harbor.

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