Kato gets its first series win

NAWILIWILI — Kato may have won the Horse phase, but Fast Company ended winning the race Thursday as the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Race Committee hosted the third race of the NYC Horse and Pony series at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

“Having the best start is sometimes a good predictor on how well a boat finishes,” said NYC Rear Commodore Kevin Arndt. “And so it was with the third race of the NYC Horse and Pony series. With a short, 2.5-mile course, it is especially critical to get across the start line in a good position.”

Kato denied OZone room to cross the start line, requiring OZone to sail outside the mark and circle back to pass through the line, ending up at the rear of the nine-boat fleet.

Trade winds blew in the 5-to-14-knot range from directly east, and the boats had to perform several tacks to reach the Ninini Point Lighthouse buoy turnaround. OZone took advantage of this situation and made up lost time, but could not overcome Kato’s lead. Kato flew a larger jib than the rest of the Olson 30 fleet.

Kato crossed the leeward mark and headed for the finish line for her first win in the series, crossing on an elapsed sail of 28 minutes, 49 seconds and correcting to 28:52 under the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet system. Papaau, an Express 27, slipped across the line at 32:23 elapsed and corrected to 31:10 PHRF for second place, a mere 12 ticks ahead of OZone, which crossed on a 31:19 elapsed sail and corrected to 31:22 PHRF for third place.

But the race is made up of two parts: The Horse and the Pony races.

Fast Company’s Jim Saylor piloted the Topper to a first finish, and taking the race on a combined score of six points, a point ahead of OZone, piloted by Dr. Bill Evslin, which ended third combined, along with Kato, whose Pony crossed sixth of eight boats. OZone and Kato each carded seven points combined.

With one race remaining in the series, Fast Company leads the series with 15 points, followed by Bonjolea II with 18 points. Papaau and OZone are tied for third with 20 points each.

Weatherly, skippered by Island School senior Risa Whetsel, and Trinity, an F-28 trimaran, lead the Club class on 29 points each, followed by Speedy with 30 points.

The final race of the NYC Horse and Pony Series takes place Thursday, with the first flags flying at 5 p.m.

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