NAWILIWILI — Jim Saylor and the crew aboard Fast Company jumped onto a Kato miscue to capture the final race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Phil Tanner Series under cold, rainy and windy conditions at Nawiliwili Harbor Thursday.
“It was a remarkably wet and cold day, and I shivered the entire race,” said Chris Jordan, skipper aboard OZone that finished the race in fourth place overall. “I could have sworn I was back in Seattle!”
The race was further aggravated by a late start due to the departure of the tanker Marigola, limiting the course to just 4.92 miles under 5- to 20-knot winds blowing out of the northeast.
Weatherly, with Carl Andersson at the stick, started on the starboard with the port tack boats, including Kato, Fast Company, Papa A‘u, and OZone had to duck them.
Bonjolea II with Bonnie Tiffany at the wheel grabbed the lead from Weatherly and was first around the lighthouse buoy, followed in order by Fast Company, Kato, OZone and Weatherly.
“Spinnakers were set downwind, and Fast Company and Kato could be seen messing with each other,” Jordan said. “This allowed OZone and Weatherly to catch up some.”
During the final lap, Kato was leading until they came in low to the Kalapaki buoy, where they hit some “light and flukey air,” Jordan said.
“Fast Company now came roaring down from higher up and rounded ahead,” Jordan said. “Similarly, Weatherly was able to speed down and get inside OZone and Kato at the Kalapaki buoy, and went ahead. Kato, struggling in the lighter, fickle air, tacked back, but they touched the buoy. They did their 360-degree penalty turn that cost them even more time. It had to be painful for them.”
The downwind run on the final leg was windy and gusty.
“Kato wanted to catch up, and they did bravely fly their chute for a wild ride, and was able to pass OZone,” Jordan said. “They subsequently had to take down their spinnaker and put up a jib in order to make it into the harbor. Once past the breakwater, they were still gaining.”
But at the finish line, Bonjolea II took line honors on an elapsed sail of 55 minutes, 34 seconds, followed closely by Fast Company sounding the horn at 56:27.
“Fast Company easily corrected on handicap to 56:48 PHRF to first place,” Jordan said. “Fast Company also wins the series with four first finishes and a second place, with one throwout race.”
Weatherly, with Andersson and his junior crew, was just 26 ticks behind Fast Company (56:53 elapsed sail, 57:14 PHRF), with Kato finishing third on a 57:21 elapsed sail, correcting to 57:58 PHRF.
Bonjolea II, taking line honors through the six-race series, corrected to 55:55 Club for top honors in that class, followed by OZone (57:48 elapsed sail) correcting to 55:59 Club for second-place honors, just four ticks behind Bonjolea II.
The seven-race NYC Eric Wind Memorial Rum Race Series starts on April 1, when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.
“Eric was a well-known and well-liked sailor aboard the Express 27 Papa A‘u for many years,” Jordan said. “His son, Kevin Millet, owns and races the Olson 30 Kato.”
Following the April 1 race, the Kaua‘i Sailing Association will have an educational event starting at 6:45 p.m., with a Mexican dinner provided by Amaize Catering (Marcie Millet) that includes a chicken fajita taco salad, a vegetarian chili bowl and a mix of cookies for dessert, all for $15.
“Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, as we can only have 25 people, as we are following the Tier-4 protocol,” Jordan said.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.