NAWILIWILI — Fast Company, with Jim Saylor at the stick, worked the full three laps, Thursday to overcome the skippering challenges set forth by the seven-boat fleet during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series, Race No. 4.
Working under wind blowing between 12 to 16 knots with a more northerly source, Double Espresso made a bold move of starting on the port tack, a move performed by Fast Company and Kato (absent from this race) in previous races. This maneuver paid off as Double Espresso took the lead.
“Double Espresso with a reefed main boldly started on port tack with no right of way over the mostly starboard tack boats,” said Chris Jordan, the skipper aboard OZone, and the NYC communicator. “Bonjolea II was the other boat to start on port tack, but they were a little late and had to duck behind the starboard tackers.”
With Bonnie Tiffany at the wheel, Bonjolea II tacked onto a lift at the Nawiliwili Harbor breakwater, and with its fast boat speed, quickly passed the pack heading to the Ninini Lighthouse buoy.
Double Espresso, meanwhile, was creating havoc off the starting horn.
“Shortly following the start, Double Espresso executed a nice lee bow maneuver ahead of Fast Company that gave Saylor’s Olson 30 bad air,” Jordan said. “Fast Company had to tack away, ducking behind OZone. When they met again, OZone was able to clear Fast Company on port tack, then tacked back onto starboard to cover them upwind.”
The maneuver left Fast Company unable to tack back out to the lighthouse buoy until OZone did.
“They would collide otherwise,” Jordan said. “This brought out a few loud remarks from Fast Company’s skipper.”
With Bonjolea II controlling the lead spot, the battle between the Olson 30s continued on the downwind run with spinnakers in full bloom.
“Fast Company went so low, OZone did not think they could make it back up to get inside the breakwater,” Jordan said. “But Saylor was able to do that to evoke some unrepeatable mutterings from OZone’s skipper. OZone had a halyard sky and broke the outhaul which allowed Jordan an excuse when Fast Company passed them on the inside at the G-11 buoy.”
Fast Company never looked back and sounded the finish horn 1 minute, 18 seconds behind Bonjolea II, who picked up line honors on a 50:12 elapsed sail, Fast Company following on a 51:30 elapsed sail.
“Bonjolea II, although getting line honors by crossing first, had to settle for third place on a corrected time of 53:30 PHRF due to its handicap rating,” Jordan said.
This gave the race to Fast Company who corrected to 51:49 PHRF followed by OZone (52:09 elapsed) at 52:28 PHRF.
The Club Class standings were taken by Iwa, a Beneteau 41, in first place with a 46:28 Club correction, followed by Speedy at 53:59 Club, and Double Espresso with its 54:37 Club corrections.
The NYC Gene Wells Memorial Series, Race No. 5 unfolds, Thursday, when the NYC Race Committee flies the first flags starting at 5 p.m. from the Nawiliwili Harbor mall parking area.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.