Fast Company pulls ahead
Bermuda and Kauai have a number of things in common, the first being that they are beautiful islands out the middle of their respective oceans, and second being that they are hosts to two very competitive sailboat races – Bermuda’s race being the America’s Cup and Kauai’s race being the Nawiliwili Yacht Club’s Junior Invitational Series!
The weather was perfect for sailing on this Thursday afternoon with 6-10 knots of northerly trade winds blowing across the calm waters of the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor. A pack of ten sailboats were poised to cross the start line the moment the Race Committee sounded the horn. Two boats in particular were in hot contention – OZone and Fast Company were tied for first place going into the third race of the four race series that has no throw-outs.
But it was Weatherly that got the best start as she cleared the start line with clean wind. Boats stacked behind Weatherly and sailing in her dirty air either lived with it or tacked over as soon as possible. The boats left the harbor entrance in a tight pack as they dropped out of spectators view. After rounding the Lighthouse buoy and setting their spinnakers, it was Bonjolea II in the lead with Fast Company and OZone in hot pursuit. At the leeward mark rounding, Bonjolea II experienced trouble with her spinnaker halyard and had a slight delay in dousing her sail. Fast Company and OZone took the lead.
On the next leg out to the Lighthouse buoy, Fast Company opened up the distance from OZone, while the third place boat, Kato, closed in on OZone. Equally matched downwind the three boats maintained their spacing but once around the leeward mark with Kato flying a large #1 jib, she passed OZone. Fast Company continued to pull further ahead even when they were using their #3 jib. What they lost in sail area, they gained with the ability to tack faster by using a smaller jib.
In the end, it was Fast Company with a good lead and finishing with a corrected time of 1:11:58. Kato finished in second place with a corrected time of 1:13:59, and OZone finished third with a corrected time of 1:14:12.
Club Class had Weatherly finishing first with a corrected time of 1:08:11. Speedy finished in second place with a corrected time of 1:11:55 and Bonjolea II finished with a third place with a corrected time of 1:17:33.
The final race of the NYC Junior Invitational will be on June 15th. To see this prestigious sailing event you will need to be on the Kalapaki Breakwater at 5p.m. and witness firsthand the excitement and thrill of close quarters sailing of fast sailboats. Note: NBC Sports is only covering the America’s Cup.
– Kevin Arndt