Marcie Millet did it Thursday during the third race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Wahine Series.
After garnering a crowd of new spectators to the Nawiliwili Harbor mole and coming up short on the opening race of the four-race series, Millet was at the stick of Papa a‘u which churned through the waters of Nawiliwili Harbor for a first-place finish by just .12 second, pending the outcome of two protests filed within the first minute of the race.
“At least two boats are waiting on repairs following last week’s race,” said NYC Rear Commodore William Georgi. “This trimmed the fleet to just five boats who all crowded the start line, all trying to cross the line at nearly the same spot. Fortunately there were no collisions, but a pair of protests were filed with the Race Committee.”
In the confusion, Bonjolea II opted for a 720-degree turn to offset an infraction and dropped to the end of the pack.
“Light air yields several substantial challenges,” Georgi said. “One of these is spinnaker handling. And when Fast Company had problems setting its chute, they lost ground.”
Bonjolea II recovered from its starting penalty and pushed to a first-to-finish as Bonnie Tiffany piloted the Sydney 36 to an elapsed sail of 55 minutes, 9 seconds over the 4.62-mile course that included two laps.
“Just over six minutes separated the first and last boats in elapsed sail times,” Georgi said. “However, all of the races are handicapped, and the final results was even tighter with a little more than 90 seconds separating the first and last place boats.”
Papa a‘u stayed clear of the fray and sounded the finish horn on a 1:01:08 — last to cross — but corrected to 58:31 PHRF for first place honors. She was followed by OZone, crossing second overall (58:38 elapsed) and correcting to 58:43 PHRF. Bonjolea II settled for third place with her 48:46 PHRF correction — just three ticks back of OZone.
Kato (59:25 elapsed, 59:30 PHRF) corrected to 57:44 Club for top honors in that class, followed by Fast Company (1:00:00 elapsed, 1:00:06 PHRF) who corrected to 59:05 Club.
With the third race completed, OZone appears to have the advantage in the series after closing the series opener in fourth before rebounding to a first finish in the second race, and coming in second following Thursday’s race. She is seriously challenged by Fast Company who took the series opener, ended in third in the second race before settling for fifth place in the Thursday race.
Papa a‘u, with its first finish, is in the mix with its second finish in the first race, and a Did Not Finish in the second race.
The scenario sets the stage for the series final race Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. off the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty parking area.