NAWILIWILI — Fast Company, with a safety-helmeted Jim Saylor at the stick, plowed through the weather mash, Thursday to pick up its second win in the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Series.
The race unfolded under very strong gusty winds, punctuated with rain, keeping the fleet to six boats — five Olson 30s, and Papa A‘u, an Express 27 — over the three-leg 5.92-mile course.
“Several of the boats decided not to race in the nasty conditions,” said Chris Jordan, the NYC communications officer. “But Papa A‘u got a good start with a full main and their fractional jib. Fast Company started to the weather-side of the other boats and got a good jump on the rest of the fleet followed by Kato who tacked to the breakwater where they tacked, again and took a lift to catch the rest of the fleet.”
Kato closed the gap against Fast Company who held the lead at the Ninini Lighthouse buoy.
“Fast Company wisely delayed setting their spinnaker in the heavy air, but when Kato saw them hoist their spinnaker, they followed suit to catch up,” Jordan said. “OZone decided to play it safe and never set a spinnaker. This paid off when Kato had some spinnaker problems and OZone passed them at the G11 (far leeward) buoy.”
The weather continued gnarly.
“Speedy should get a special trophy for racing in the very strong winds with only two crew (compared with the usual six to eight),” Jordan said. “It was great to see Double Espresso doing so well with the adult sailing students. They, at one point, were in third place until Kato recovered from its spinnaker woes and passed them using its spinnaker.”
Throughout the weather-generated excitement, Fast Company, with Saylor donning a safety helmet as a hedge against being conked by the boat’s boom, stayed clear to sound the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 8 seconds, correcting to 1:05:32 PHRF for its second trophy in the series. Fast Company also corrected to 1:04:15 Club for top honors in that class competition.
OZone (1:07:47 elapsed, 1:08:12 PHRF) followed with Kato (1:07:47 elapsed, 1:10:20 PHRF) settling for third place.
Papa A‘u (1:13:39 elapsed, 1:10:49 PHRF), Double Espresso (1:10:42 elapsed, 1:11:28 PHRF), and Speedy (1:19:50 elapsed, 1:20:20 PHRF) rounded out the fleet.
The third race of the Rum Series will unfold Thursday when the first flag flies at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall parking area.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.