NAWILIWILI — Kato, an Olson 30, overcame a myriad of obstacles to claim the final race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Spring Shakedown Series, Thursday at Nawiliwili Harbor where winds were blowing consistently at 8 knots from the north-northeast.
“The race started with good wind,” said Bonnie Tiffany who manned the wheel of Bonjolea II. “But, by the end of the race, the wind disappeared. We just couldn’t build on the distance we needed to overcome the PHRF correction.”
Just a point difference faced the Kato crew heading to the start line. More obstacles popped up as Speedy, another Olson 30 in the six-boat fleet, hobbled with a broken headstay foil before withdrawing on a Did Not Finish. A similar fate fell on Papa A‘u whose jib halyard skyed causing the Express 27 to DNF without a headsail.
“Boats usually start on starboard tack as they have the right of way,” said Chris Jordan, at the stick of OZone, and the NYC communications officer. “But both Fast Company, holding the points lead in the series, and OZone battled to get a good port tack near the mole and the No. 6 buoy (offering the mole spectators a great vantage point). OZone slowed Fast Company, but had to avoid a starboard tacker, falling behind while Kato crept into the chase.”
Coming inland on the first leg of the 6.23-mile course, Bonjolea II built a lead in the comfortable wind, challenged by Fast Company, OZone, and Kato.
Kato’s crew with Kevin Millett at the stick, made its move at the seawall, overtaking OZone before making the run past Fast Company.
“Jim (Saylor) is definitely not having a good day, today,” Paula Saylor told a visiting couple who meandered onto the race while walking the access road ahead of the second leg. “He is not happy.”
Kato continued to build on the move, sounding the finish horn on a 1 hour, 15 minutes, 46 seconds and corrected to 1:16:35 PHRF to take the race — and the series title.
She was challenged by OZone crossing on a 1:16:56 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:17:25 PHRF — just 24 seconds ahead of Fast Company who posted a 1:17:20 elapsed sail and correcting to 1:17:49 PHRF.
Weatherly, yet another Olson 30, followed (1:20:27 elapsed, 1:20:57 PHRF) and corrected to 1:13:52 Club for top honors in that class.
Bonjolea II fell to cross third overall on a 1:17:00 elapsed sail, but corrected to 1:22:03 PHRF for fifth place. She corrected to 1:15:50 Club for runner up honors in that class.
Double Expresso, an Olson 30 manned by newly-recruited adult sailors, rounded out the field with Emily Buck on the stick for a bit in the race where she crossed on a 1:25:49 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:26:45 PHRF. Having Buck on the stick was a delight for her fiance, David Cuevas who did foredeck on OZone, Jordan said.
The public is invited to view the first race of the NYC Rum Series when the first flags fly at 5 p.m., Thursday at the jetty wall parking area of Nawiliwili Harbor.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.