Papa A‘u takes Gene Wells second race

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    The crew aboard Papa A‘u glides by to check in vocally with the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Race Committee during the Gene Wells Series Race No. 2 at Nawiliwili Harbor Thursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Fast Company holds the lead over OZone and Papa A‘u coming in from the second outbound leg of the NYC Gene Wells Series, Race No. 2 at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Fast Company and OZone are on different tacks heading into the final leg of the NYC Gene Wells Series, Race No. 2 at Nawiliwili Harbor.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Fast Company and OZone battle for the lead over Papa a‘u, Double Espresso, Speedy, and Weatherly coming in from the first outbound leg during the NYC Gene Wells Series, Race No. 2 at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

NAWILIWILI — Where did Papa A‘u come from?

Last Thursday, Fast Company and OZone were busy battling for control of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series Race No. 2, the handicap for the Express 27 pushed the little boat to the top of the race that unfolded in 8-to-10-knot winds out of the east-northeast.

Size matters, as Papa A‘u slipped to the front of the pack and took first-rounding status at the Kalapaki buoy in the three-leg, 5.92-mile course.

“OZone stayed lower away from the Kukui Lighthouse and appeared to get more wind than Papa A‘u and Fast Company,” said Chris Jordan, skippering OZone. “OZone took the lead and rounded the Ninini Lighthouse buoy first, followed by Fast Company, Papa A‘u, Weatherly, Speedy and Double Espresso.”

Coming inland, OZone kept its lead.

“At the G-11 buoy by the Coast Guard station, OZone rounded first, but had their jib come two-thirds of the way out of its tuff luff headstay track,” Jordan said. “This slowed them down for the next lap. Fast Company was right on OZone’s stern in bad air and tacked away. This paid off as at the next crossing, OZone had to duck Fast Company’s stern. Then, Fast Company tacked right on top of OZone to cover them. Curse you, Jim Saylor!”

Papa A‘u entered the fray in the final leg.

“Papa A‘u came into the buoy area upwind on starboard tack and messed with Fast Company coming downwind, causing them to alter course to stay out of the way and lose more ground,” Jordan said. “OZone now went high towards the breakwater under spinnaker, but they gave up distance to Fast Company and Papa A‘u, who stayed low.”

On rounding the G-11 buoy and heading upwind for the last time, OZone was in the lead with Fast Company right on its stern.

“Fast Company was in OZone’s bad air so they again tacked away early,” Jordan said. “This time, OZone tacked earlier to cover and was able to get line honors, crossing the finish line on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 19 seconds.”

Fast Company followed 35 seconds later on an elapsed sail of 1:13:44, and corrected to 1:14:11 PHRF for third-place honors.

“It was the smaller Papa A‘u on the handicap who corrected to 1:12:45 PHRF to first place in the PHRF class, followed by OZone (1:13:46 PHRF) in second, and Fast Company behind them by 25 seconds,” Jordan said.

Speedy (1:22:14 elapsed) corrected to 1:12:02 Club for top honors in that class, followed by Weatherly (1:18:41 elapsed) correcting to 1:13:16 Club, and Double Espresso (1:22:17 elapsed, 1:17:44 Club) in third.

“The youngest Kaua‘i Sailing Association sailors aboard Double Espresso keep getting better and better,” Jordan said. “In actual time, they finished just three seconds behind Speedy before applying the handicap.”

The third race for the NYC Gene Wells Series takes place Thursday, when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili jetty 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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