Kato steers clear of Weatherly to win Race No. 3

NAWILIWILI — Kato and Weatherly, both Olson 30 craft, mixed it up at the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Shoreline Rum Series, Race No. 3 that was sailed Thursday under light 12-knot winds out of the east at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

“Kato had a great start and essentially ran their own race way in front,” said Chris Jordan, skipper aboard OZone, one of the nine-boat fleet racing. “It was Weatherly with their six junior sailors (who may have to be called the ‘superior sailors,’ now) who stole the show.”

Kato negotiated the three-lap course on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 27 seconds and corrected to 1:12:14 PHRF to claim the top spot nearly two minutes ahead of Weatherly who stopped the clocks on a 1:13:18 elapsed sail and correcting to 1:13:45 PHRF for the second berth.

OZone, running in the also-ran group during the first two races of the series, slipped into third place on a 1:13:41 elapsed sail, correcting to 1:14:08 PHRF — 37 seconds behind Weatherly, and 31 ticks ahead of Fast Company (1:14:11 elapsed, 1:14:39 PHRF) who had taken top honors in the first two races.

“Weatherly stayed in front of Fast Company and OZone through the entire race, giving both crews fits,” Jordan said. “They looked flawless.”

Fast Company started low on the start line and ended up tacking back to the breakwater to duck the other Olson 30s and Bonjolea II who was forced early-over and had to re-round the starting mark.

During the first upwind leg, Fast Company had to deal with Weatherly coming back on starboard tack which resulted in Fast Company and OZone having to duck and putting Fast Company behind OZone in bad air.

Coming downwind toward the harbor, Fast Company had to go wide to allow Bonjolea II room allowing OZone to sneak in for a good mark and passing Fast Company with an eye to Weatherly who was ahead of the fleet.

More jockeying saw OZone pass Fast Company on the second upwind leg to the Ninini Point Lighthouse mark to continue the battle.

During the final downwind leg, spinnaker problems on Weatherly kept the race for second place interesting.

“At the Green-11 turn, OZone had been gaining significantly on Weatherly until she had spinnaker problems with the pole being in the water, and the jib unable to be trimmed so they were quite slow,” Jordan said. “Fast Company was coming on strong, but the effort was not quite enough.”

In the Club class competition, Speedy (1:19:36 elapsed) captured the top spot on a 1:10:18 Club correction followed by Bonjolea II (1:11:43 elapsed) at 1:10:38 Club.

The Shoreline Series, Race No. 4 continues on July 9 when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

There is no shoreline race, Thursday as the NYC fleet prepares for its annual offshore race to Hanalei during the July Fourth weekend. There will be no picnic portion for this race because of the pandemic, and the return race comes home, July 5 following a 9 a.m. start.

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

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