Papa A‘u wins in weather

NAWILIWILI — Papa A‘u survived not only the challenge of the five-boat field, but also the heavy rain and “fluky” wind to capture the fourth race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Invitational Series, Thursday.

“This was probably the most unusual race in more than 15 years,” said Chris Jordan. “Not only with the heavy rain and squalls, but with the 79 to 12 knot winds out of the south-south east changing dramatically — at times, almost 180 degrees.”

The inclement weather pushed a 4.15-mile course that had never been used before with Papa Au heading toward the mountains and around the No. 9 buoy at the start. A turn to the No. 2 Kalapaki buoy, and back to the No. 7 green buoy.

The course snaked back to the Kalapaki buoy and out to the Ninini Lighthouse buoy, back inland to the No. 11, around the No. 7 and then the Kalapaki buoy before finishing.

“Papa A‘u had a great race,” Jordan said. “They were the only ones to use Race Q’s for tracking on the computer.”

Papa A‘u tackled the course on an elapsed sail of 49 minutes, 16 seconds and corrected to 47:22 PHRF for top honors among the field of five boats.

“OZone has a good start with their No. 3 sail up, but they were soon passed by Double Espresso with its larger No. 2 sail,” Jordan said. “Fast Company skillfully passed into second place as Papa A‘u continuing to build its lead. Both boats put up their spinnakers early in the risky wind conditions. Weatherly tried this maneuver a little later in the race with some spectacular round ups, allowing OZone to catch up.”

Fast Company finished behind the impressive Papa A‘u lead on a 48:47 elapsed sail, but later retired because they did not have a guest crew member as required by the race rules.

Double Espresso was next on a 50:09 elapsed sail, but with their three-second handicap, OZone, crossing a second behind Double Espress at 50:10 elapsed, filled in the second slot after correcting to 50:29 PHRF. Double Espresso settled for third at 50:42 PHRF. Speedy, stopping the clock on a 56:08 elapsed sail, corrected to 56:29 PHRF to round out the brave souls challenging the elements.

Speedy corrected to 49:34 Club for top honors in that class.

“The very wet crews enjoyed a hamburger dinner following the race, cooked by John Ross who also deserves kudos for his work on the Kauai Channel Race, and for the yacht club’s website,” Jordan said.

The first race of the popular NYC Wahine Series takes place, Thursday with a woman helming the boat when the race takes off following the first flags at 5 p.m.

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