NAWILIWILI — Kato hung on to squeeze out a win and take the lead in the Nawiliwili Yacht Club’s Wahine Series, Thursday in a hard-fought battle of skippering skill and seamanship in winds of 8- to 10-knots blowing out of the northeast at the Nawiliwili Harbor.
The win for Emily Martin, handling the stick aboard Kato as per the rules of the NYC Wahine Series, moves the five-person Kato crew into a lead, two races to the one race captured by Alison Fonari aboard OZone, with two more races to go in the five-race series.
“Kato looked good leading out of the harbor,” said Chris Jordan who took the next seat to Fonari aboard OZone. “they were the first boat to tack back in towards the beach beyond Running Waters and OZone followed them to get the lift in there. At the Ninini lighthouse buoy, it was Bonjolea II (with Bonnie Tiffany at the wheel) around first followed by Kato, Fast Company, and OZone.”
Weatherly, with its young-in-age crew, and Double Espresso, with just three people aboard handling the 6.03-mile course, were in the frontline mix followed by Speedy being challenged by Papa A‘u who made up distance following an early-over at the start, and Iwa bringing up the nine-boat fleet.
“On the upwind leg of the second lap, from the G-11 buoy towards the NYC Race Committee on the mole, Kato lost its lead to Fast Company and had to duck them on the next tack,” Jordan said. “But OZone had a better lift on this tack and caught up so both Fast Company and Kato had to duck OZone.
“Coming in on the final leg, Kato tacked early while Fast Company and OZone took it all the way in to the breakwater before tacking to avoid the flukey air and header while approaching the Kalapaki buoy,” OZone’s owner said. “This early tack paid off for Kato as they sailed a shorter distance to the buoy and now led the other five Olson 30s in the race.”
The maneuver could not catch Bonjolea II who sailed to line honors on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 31 seconds, nearly four minutes ahead of Kato who sounded the horn on a 1:12:04 elapsed sail.
However, the handicap correction put Kato and Martin in the winner’s circle with a 1:12:51 PHRF correction to Bonjolea II who settled for No. 3 with a 1:13:44 PHRF correction — 31 ticks behind OZone who picked up No. 2 honors on a 1:12:46 elapsed sail and correcting to 1:13:13 PHRF, just 22 ticks behind Kato.
Weatherly (1:15:38 elapsed) posted a 1:09:03 Club for top honors in that class followed by Speedy (1:21:57 elapsed) coming in at 1:11:30 Club, and Fast Company (1:14:05 elapsed) posting a 1:13:31 Club.
The fourth race for the NYC Wahine Series takes place, Thursday at the Nawiliwili Harbor mole parking area when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.