NAWILIWILI — Tess Moeller, at the stick of Fast Company, hung on in the strong, gusty winds Thursday to claim the final contest of the four-race Nawiliwili Yacht Club Wahine Series at Nawiliwili Harbor.
“Tess made it a four-race sweep by winning first place again,” said Chris Jordan, aboard OZone and the NYC race communicator. “She did it with a PHRF Class time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 42 seconds over the 6.23-mile race course that took in three legs.”
Papa A‘u, with Victoria Aiu at the wheel, broke tradition at the clean start, opting for the port tack similar to Fast Company’s tactic during the previous week’s race. The move gave her a nice lead that disappeared with the challenge of coping with choppy seas and strong winds.
“Kato, with skipper Chandra Bertsch, led Fast Company for most of the race,” Jordan said. “But at the downwind G-7 buoy, they had a disastrous problem. They almost t-boned the buoy and passed it on the wrong side. They had to take down their spinnaker and turn back to go around the buoy properly.”
The error pushed Fast Company to the lead and claim the win and the sweep.
Kato followed 30 seconds back on a corrected time of 1:08:12 for second place, a second better than Bonjolea II, which had a corrected time of 1:08:12 PHRF.
“Although Bonjolea II with Bonnie Tiffany on the wheel was again the first boat across the finish line, they had to settle for third place because their handicap time is so great due to their longer length and speed,” Jordan said.
The first finish overall was thrilling to spectator Ariella Borre, who recently moved here from Washington.
“I like that boat,” said the youngster who is part of the Kids Fit Crew. “Grandma liked the other boat who is in last place.”
That boat was Iwa, skippered by Karen Cole that finished tops in the Club class, followed by Papa A‘u, and Weatherly with Astrid Andersson at the stick.
“OZone, with Alison Fornari at the helm, finished out of the money,” Jordan said. “A large gust of wind on the spinnaker during the downwind run caused them to round up, which slowed them down.”
The NYC Race Committee next hosts the first of 10 races in the NYC Gene Wells Series Thursday, starting with the first flags flying at 5 p.m.
“Gene was a well-known boat-builder on Kauai, and an honored member of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club,” Jordan said. “The public is invited to watch these races from the Nawiliwili mole parking area.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.