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Fast Company seems unbeatable

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Fast Company slides to the lead on a port tack at the start of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series Race No. 2 as Kato, OZone and Weatherly challenge the move, in Nawiliwili Harbor Thursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Fast Company turns inland ahead of Bonjolea II, Weatherly and Kato at the midpoint of the second leg of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series, Race No. 2, in Nawiliwili Harbor Thursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The crew aboard Fast Company celebrate its lead heading into the final leg of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series Race No. 2 Thursday in Nawiliwili Harbor.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    OZone and Weatherly challenge for the lead coming out of the first leg of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series Race No. 2 Thursday in Nawiliwili Harbor.

NAWILIWILI — Who is going to beat Fast Company?

Chris Jordan aboard OZone wanted to know this Thursday when the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Race Committee hosted the Gene Wells Memorial Series Race No. 2 under 8 to 10-knot winds blowing out of the north.

“This 5.92-mile course with three legs — an inside lap and two outside laps around the Ninini Lighthouse buoy — had winds more out of the north on an absolutely beautiful day for sailing,” said Jordan, who handled stick duties for OZone.

“In fact, the winds were so far out of the north that Fast Company did a port tack start near the race committee and cleared the entire fleet. This put them well into the lead.”

Jim Saylor commanded his crew to nurse that lead throughout, sounding the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 14 seconds that corrected to 1:06:39 PHRF to grab the race for two weeks running.

“Port tack is risky,” said Jim Saylor, skipper aboard Fast Company, during a chance meeting on the street. “Everyone else has the right-of-way. The wind shifted just a bit and I knew we had it.”

Fast Company and Kato had the lead rounding the Kalapaki buoy in the inside leg, while Bonjolea II ran block on a battle between OZone and Weatherly.

“Bonjolea II rounded the Kalapaki buoy and put up their asymmetrical spinnaker for the downwind leg, taking Weatherly way up to the green seven buoy,” Jordan said. “This gave OZone the opportunity to sneak in ahead of them at the green 11 buoy near the Coast Guard station.”

The battle for the middle of the pack continued.

“Behind OZone’s bad air, Bonjolea II decided to tack towards the breakwater and, shortly after, Weatherly did the same,” Jordan said. “OZone should have covered them because, on the next tack, they were ahead, and OZone had to duck both of them.”

Between the battle, Papa A‘u was picking up on the action with Tim Perry at the helm, filling in for Andy Evans, who was taking his son to the mainland for school.

“Papa A‘u, with his smaller boat and more favorable handicap, was gaining at the time,” Jordan said. “Crewman Roger Cable thought that, upwind, Papa A‘u lost some distance on the other boats.”

Following Fast Company, Kato (1:07:43 elapsed sail) nailed second place with a 1:08:27 PHRF correction, followed by Bonjolea II (1:07:43 elapsed), correcting to 1:12:10 PHRF.

Weatherly, which withstood a tacking duel with OZone on the top end, sounded the horn on a 1:12:19 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:06:01 Club for top honors in that class. They were followed by Papa A‘a (1:17:29 elapsed) correcting to 1:09:11 Club, and OZone (1:12:38 elapsed) finishing third at 1:10:29 Club.

The third race in the seven-race Gene Wells Memorial Series takes place Thursday, when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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

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