Kato takes First Place in Gene Wells Memorial Series, Race #1
The first race of the Gene Wells Memorial Series started out with 6 boats crowding the starboard end of the line. Fast Company, about to jump the gun early, got crowded out at the start buoy and chose to circle back behind the mob. When the start horn sounded off they went on the 5.8 mile long course.
Bonjolea II and Fast Company tacked early to get into clearer wind. As the boats cleared the harbor, the easterly winds forced them to tack several times to make the Lighthouse Buoy. It was Bonjolea II, then Kato, followed by Fast Company, OZone, Speedy and Papa a’u rounding the outer mark then heading towards buoy “G11” deep inside the harbor. The boats held their own until the next weather leg when Kato dropped a few places when they weren’t pointing as high as the rest of the leaders. Bonjolea II led the way out of the harbor on the last leg out to the Lighthouse. Fast Company and OZone sailed a nearshore course and sailed right into a hole while Kato tacked early close to the end of the breakwater and kept in the best wind. Kato regained her second place standing as the fleet converged on the Lighthouse Buoy. The crews did well as they raced back into the harbor and they completed the race as the sun went down behind the mountains.
Kato corrected out with a first place finish with a time of 1:14:32, followed by Fast Company with a time of 1:15:25. OZone got third place with a corrected time of 1:16:59. Club Class had Bonjolea II finishing first place with a time of 1:14:04, followed by Speedy with a time of 1:14:41. Papa a’u got a third place with a time of 1:14:53.
– Kevin Arndt