Kato Bests the Fleet
The winds were light and variable at the start of the fourth race of NYC’s Louie Abrams Memorial Rum Race Series. It was difficult to judge what side of the start line had the advantage – half the boats were maneuvering around the far start pin while the other half was grouped at the race committee end. Some boats had no steerage at all as the light breeze seemed to elude them. When the start horn sounded it was Lelele, a Wells 30 that emerged from the middle of the line with sails drawing nicely and sporting a bow wake as she enjoyed a light breeze that was meant only for her. Lelele had a nice lead as she rounded “G11” and sailed for the next mark. As the rest of the fleet reached “G11” the wind around the buoy died, then shifted 180 degrees, then shifted again. Boats that were merely a few boat lengths away from each other had breezes whispering across their sails from different directions. Lelele continued to enjoy her own wind cell as she made the next mark well ahead of the boat behind her.
The wind filled in across the harbor and Lelele’s lead was lost as carbon fiber sails and high tech instrumentation helped Kato, an Olson 30, take the lead. The wind was out of the south as the fleet sailed out to the light house buoy and then back to the finish line just before the light breeze finally died with the setting sun.
Kato took first place with a huge lead and a corrected time of 0:46:35. OZone came next with a corrected time of 0:50:20 and Fast Company finished third with a corrected time of 0:51:20.
– Kevin Arndt
Click here for photos by Charlotte