NAWILIWILI — Rhan Honjo of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club said the intent of the Thursday race was to keep the boats out of the red buoys because of the gnarly waves and strong winds.
“They’re doing just two legs to the Ninini Point buoy,” Honjiyo said. “That way, they’ll be clear of the red buoys.”
Six boats braved the 20- to 30-knot winds blowing in strong and gusty from the north and traversed the 4.8-mile course under the threat of thunderstorm warnings, with the possibility of cloud-to-water lightning.
Jim Saylor returned to the water following the season opener and took Fast Company out to an early lead, staying out of trouble from the swells and other boats in the race to sound the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 49:03. Fast Company corrected to 49:21 PHRF to take the opening race of the Spring Shakedown Series.
Papa a‘u, taking the lead in the season opening race, fell victim to an over-early start, doubling back to do penalty turns. The error proved costly as the Express 27 finished fourth on a 57:14 elapsed time, correcting to 56:02 PHRF.
Kato filled in the second place spot, chasing down Fast Company, but never quite caught her despite raising her spinnaker on the downwind leg of the first lap. Kevin Millet, Kato’s skipper on the stick, had to deal with the strong gusty winds that wrapped the balloon into an hourglass. The correction negated any advantage, and the Olson 30 settled for second place on a 50:11 elapsed sail and correcting to 50:44 PHRF.
OZone, another Olson 30, filled in third place (52:19 elapsed, 52:38 PHRF) followed by Papa a‘u, Speedy (59:09 elapsed, 59:33 PHRF), and Iwa (1:09:23 elapsed, 1:07:37 PHRF).
Fast Company also corrected to 48:23 Club for top honors in that class racing.
The Spring Shakedown Series continues Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. The public is invited to share the vantage point of the NYC Race Committee to view the competition.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.