Kato takes on Kona winds

Kona winds may have hampered some of the boats, but Kato overcame the light southerly winds to take its second race Thursday during the second race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

Kato took the lead off the start of the seven-boat fleet and never relinquished the lead throughout the 2.96-mile course covering three in-harbor legs.

William Georgi, the NYC rear commodore, said seven boats started but soon divided into a five-boat pack on starboard tack and two boats on the port tack, sailing toward the cruise ship.

“The starboard tack, toward the far side of the harbor, was definitely the better option,” Georgi said. “The top three finishers were all in the group which chose that option.”

Kato maintained its lead off the start, sounding the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 42 minutes, 27 seconds and correcting to 42:31 PHRF — more than two minutes ahead of OZone who crossed on a 44:29 elapsed sail and correcting to 44:33 PHRF.

“In light winds, spinnaker handling is essential, and several boats suffered time losses from sails which were set too slowly or improperly,” Georgi said. “Weatherly was able to pick up two places — from sixth to fourth — by solid sail handling and skillful play of the erratic winds. Weatherly was gaining on the third place boat, Fast Company, finishing less than 30 seconds back.”

Fast Company held off the challenge, crossing at 46:52 and correcting to 46:56 PHRF, ahead of Weatherly sounding the finish horn at 47:18 and correcting to 47:22 PHRF.

Weatherly corrected to 43:04 Club for top honors in that class followed by Speedy (43:55 Club) and Papa a‘u (46:53 Club).

The Race No. 3 in the four-race Gene Wells Memorial Series takes place Thursday with the first flags flying at 5 p.m.

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