Aaron Martin gets a wedding present

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kato, including crew member Aaron Martin, nurses its lead over a challenging Fast Company Thursday going upwind of the buoy during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Series Race No. 5, in Nawiliwili Harbor.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kato relishes its lead Thursday, while Bonjolea II, fighting to keep its chute filled in dead air, forces OZone cliffside in a battle for third place near Kukui Point during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Series Race No. 5.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A bicyclist watches as Kato holds off Fast Company for the lead at the Kukui Point Lighthouse Thursday during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Series Race No. 5.

NAWILIWILI — Kato broke its shroud and was forced to withdraw from the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Series Race No. 4.

Thursday, the crew aboard the Olson 30 rebounded from the incident during lighter, easterly winds to peel an advantage off the middle of the starting fleet and hung on to take the hole shot before an audience that appreciated the two short legs of the three-leg race course.

“Kato had more planned for Aaron Martin than just margaritas,” said Chris Jordan, skippering OZone. “As Kato’s crew jury-rigged their starboard shroud that broke during last week’s race, they could be heard planning an impromptu bachelor party following the race for fellow crewman Aaron, who is getting married July 18 to Emily, who crews aboard Double Espresso.”

Kato, flying its large headsail similar to other boats in the fleet, was in the middle of the line and jumped off to an early start, Fast Company, Double Espresso, and Speedy chasing and OZone starting on the pin end following the pack.

“On the upwind leg from the green 11 buoy near the Coast Guard station to the mole, it appeared that OZone on the starboard had Fast Company pinned to leeward without enough room to tack,” Jordan said. “However, when Fast Company reached the mole, they called for room to tack at an obstruction, taking away OZone’s advantage and moving into the lead (behind Kato).”

Heading to the one long leg to the Ninini Point Lighthouse buoy, the fleet tacked into the beach.

“Kato and OZone did this early, and when Fast Company came back on starboard, OZone had to closely duck their stern,” Jordan said.

“OZone’s skipper should have tacked back another time toward the beach to cover, but by not doing this, Kato and Fast Company rounded the buoy with a significant lead. Bonjolea II, Double Espresso and Speedy followed not far behind, with Papa ‘Au and its new foredeck crew in training, and Iwa rounding out the fleet.”

During the downwind leg, OZone challenged the leaders, setting sights on Fast Company in a battle of Olson 30s.

“But OZone’s skipper parked the boat in a hole with no wind at the Kukui Lighthouse bluff, and OZone’s crew moaned as Kato and Fast Company roared off into the distance,” Jordan said. “The remaining boats in the fleet saw OZone struggling in dead air and stayed further off the bluff to capitalize on better wind, Bonjolea II passing OZone like they were standing still.”

Kato never relinquished its lead and sounded the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 4 minutes, 31 seconds, and corrected to 1:05:13 PHRF to claim the win as an early wedding present for Martin.

“Fast Company (1:06:34 elapsed, 1:06:59 PHRF) took second, and OZone (1:06:58 elasped, 1:09:24 PHRF) third,” Jordan said. “Only a minute behind OZone, Double Espresso (1:09:59 elapsed, 1:10:45 PHRF) with bride-to-be Emily followed.”

Speedy (1:13:11 elapsed) corrected to 1:03:51 Club for top honors in that class, followed by Papa ‘Au (1:13:54 elapsed) at 1:05:59 Club, and Bonjolea II (1:07:120 elasped, 1:06:15 Club).

The sixth race of the seven-race series takes place Thursday, when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili mole parking area.

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

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