Fast Company nabs NYC Gene Wells opener

NAWILIWILI — Nawiliwili Yacht Club Race Committee hosts the second race of the seven-race NYC Gene Wells Memorial Series, Thursday when the first flags fly starting at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili mole parking area.

Skipper Jim Saylor and the crew aboard Fast Company that captured the overall title of the previous NYC Rum Series races, made its mark early in the series by claiming the cup on the opening race of the Wells Memorial last Thursday that started in pouring rain.

“The rain didn’t seem to bother 8-year-old Sylvio Fornari who was seen on the stern of OZone, and later drove the Olson 30 admirably up until three minutes before the start,” said Chris Jordan, the stick handler who took control of OZone at the start of the eight-boat fleet in 10-knot winds blowing out of the northeast.

Carl Andersson and his young crew grabbed the lead over OZone with Kato and Fast Company tacking to the breakwater off the line of the three-leg, six-mile course.

“OZone, appearing to have the lead, got greedy and decided not to cover them to avoid two extra tacks,” Jordan said. “This did not pay off as OZone got headed and parked in light air by the Kalapaki Buoy. Fast Company came roaring down from the breakwater and following rounding the Kalapaki Buoy, took a commanding lead.”

Fast Company nursed the lead into the second leg rounding the Ninini Point Lighthouse turnaround with Bonjolea II and Kato challenging.

“When OZone tacked to make the buoy, they were too low,” Jordan said. “While trying to do a short tack in order to round and not hit the buoy, the jib got stuck on the spreader half-way up. This put a hole in the jib, and it was stuck. OZone could not tack or gybe in any direction. Weather, with the hot shot teenage sailors came barreling down on the parked OZone. The skipper aboard OZone started yelling loudly — possibly exceeding the yelling occasionally heard from Fast Company — that he couldn’t get out of the way to avoid a collision. Weatherly avoided the parked Olson 30 and put some distance on them.”

Fast Company kept its pace through the remainder of the race that ended when Bonjolea II sounded the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 9 minutes, 50 seconds, followed by Fast Company crossing at 1:10:19.

“Fast Company easily corrected to 1:10:45 PHRF to claim first place on the handicap by nearly four-and-a-half minutes,” Jordan said. “Kato (1:11:02 elapsed sail) with Kevin Millett on the helm finished second (1:11:48 PHRF), and Weatherly (1:13:41 elapsed) took third (1:14:08 PHRF). Papa A‘u, catching OZone on the lighthouse buoy incident, (1:17:44 elapsed) corrected over OZone at 1:14:45 PHRF.”

OZone finished with a 1:16:22 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:16:50 PHRF below Bonjolea II.

Bonnie Tiffany piloted the Sydney 36 to a 1:08:53 Club finish for top honors in that class, followed by Iwa (1:09:22 Club) and Papa A‘u (1:09:24 Club).


Dennis Fujimoto can be reached at 245-0453 or


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