Kato gets third win in NYC Gene Wells Memorial series

Kato picked up its third win Thursday following a tight, innovative sail through the 4.8-mile course set up for the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial series.

“The overall course was two laps of the ‘A’ course,” said William Georgi, the NYC rear commodore. “Due to the missing No. 2 buoy just off Kalapaki Beach, the course had to be used. The winds were brisk at an estimated 15 to 20 knots, and the higher wind speed put a premium on precise sail handling.”

Bonjolea II, a Sydney 36, was the largest boat of the fleet of six boats. The remaining boats are Olson 30s.

“Bonjolea II jumped out to an early boat-for-boat lead,” Georgi said. “This was expected as size matters in displacement boats. Kato the lead distance to a manageable level followed by OZone and Fast Company.”

In the middle of the pack, Weatherly and Speedy had their own fight going on. Weatherly sailed conservatively by setting its spinnaker late and taking it down well before reaching the downwind mark.

Speedy had its own issues with multiple headsail handling resulting in a fouled jib.

“The Speedy crew struggled to clear the jib, but it took a relatively long time to clear the issue and they started sailing under the normal two-sail power,” Georgi said.

Bonjolea II kept the lead until the final upwind leg, relinquishing to Kato who tripped the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 50 minutes, 24 seconds, just 35 seconds ahead of the Sydney 36. Kato corrected to 50:29 PHRF for top honors in the second race of the four-race series while the larger handicap for Bonjolea II put her in fourth place, overall at 54:20 PHRF.

OZone (51:30 elapsed, 51:35 PHRF) and Fast Company (52:26 elapsed, 52:31 PHRF) filled in the second and third spots, respectively.

Weatherly (54:46 elapsed, 54:51 PHRF) and Speedy (1:01:51 elapsed, 1:01:57 PHRF) rounded out the fleet.

Weatherly also corected to 49:51 Club for top honors in that class followed by Bonjolea II (52:16 Club) and Speedy (54:28 Club).

The fourth race of the Gene Wells Memorial Series will get under way Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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