Papa A‘u stirs the pot

  • Charlotte Ross/Contributed photo

    Papa A‘u is in the midst of a downwind leg battle between OZone and Kato during the third race of the NYC Gene Wells Memorial Series at Nawiliwili.

NAWILIWILI — As the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series enters its midpoint race, Papa A‘u stirred the pot by taking the series’ Race No. 3 in 8 to 10-knot winds blowing more northerly than normal, Thursday at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

“Papa A‘u, the Express 27 helmed by Jeff, showed the rest of the fleet how to win,” said Chris Jordan, the skipper aboard OZone and the NYC communicator. “They stayed ahead of the six Olson 30s for much of the 4.82-mile race even though the Olson are 30 seconds a mile faster on handicap.”

Jordan said OZone tried a port tack start, but that was not fruitful when they had to duck Speedy and Fast Company — both Olson 30s — who had the starboard tack right of way.

Speedy later faded when they blew another spinnaker on the downwind leg of the race, and Bill Evslin, at the stick of Fast Company, had a nice battle going with OZone until Iwa, a Benetau 41, cast a shadow over the action.

“After rounding the No. 7 buoy, Iwa made a wind shadow that slowed OZone, and Fast Company caught up,” Jordan said. “But when Fast Company’s spinnaker touched OZone’s backstay, they had to do their penalty turns which cost them time.”

Double Espresso capitalized on the action, attempting a squeeze between OZone and Iwa, and the crew demonstrating its elation at passing OZone.

Kato steered clear of the goings-on and was the first to sound the finish horn on a 59-minute, 57-second elapsed sail, followed by Papa A‘u sounding the horn at 1:00:16 elapsed. But the corrections came into play and Papa A‘u was awarded the win after correcting to 57:57 PHRF, Kato settling for the reserve spot at 1:00:30 PHRF. OZone, crossing at 1:02:31 elapsed, settled for the No. 3 spot at 1:02:54 PHRF to fill the leaderboard for the eight-boat fleet.

Bonjolea II, taking a win, recently, was absent from the racing action, and in her stead, Speedy captured the top spot in the Club class with a 59:19 Club correction. Double Espresso filled in the No. 2 spot on a 1:01:14 Club correction, and Fast Company settled for No. 3 with a 1:02:58 Club correction.

The NYC Gene Wells Memorial Series, Race No. 4 will be held on Sept. 5 when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

There is no shoreline series race, Thursday to allow crews preparation time for the Labor Day weekend race to Hanalei, Saturday, returning to Nawiliwili on Monday.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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