Zoey Huntley gave herself a high school graduation present winning the final race in the Doug Gibson Memorial Series with her teenage Kauai Sailing Association crew on Weatherly. The race was topsy turvy with fluky Kona winds out of the South-southwest rather than our regular easterly trade winds so that the start went towards the mountain in winds 2-8 knots that shifted all over the compass. The 3.36 mile course was U-S, not one we are familiar with or know the usual lifts and headers.
The first upwind leg went to the G-7 buoy which is the closest buoy in by the beginning of the breakwater. Most of the boats started on starboard tack while Weatherly started at the pin end on port tack and Ozone was way down near the race committee on port. There appeared to be more wind off to the right side of the course and this paid off for Ozone as they rounded the G-7 buoy a little behind the fast Bonjolea II. But as the other boats rounded (Double Espresso, Speedy, Fast Company and Weatherly) the wind filled in from the back and all these boats caught up to the leaders. Ozone couldn’t stand to be passed and put up their spinnaker in the flukey air, which was probably not a good idea. Fast Company passed them first followed by Double Espresso and Speedy. And then Weatherly passed Ozone too.
Ozone persisted with their spinnaker all the way out to the lighthouse buoy where they should have dropped it and put up the jib. The crew probably should have mutinied on skipper Chris Jordan as they rounded the buoy and headed towards the rocks at the lighthouse... So when Ozone recovers they are dead last behind Bonjolea II, Fast Company, Speedy, Double Espresso and Weatherly.
Now heading to the Kalapaki buoy the air in there got very light which is common. Speedy and Weatherly nearly catch Fast Company. In the fluky winds Ozone is able to get back in the mix and they think they are in 3rd catching Bonjolea II in the lead and Fast Company. But now heading to the G-11 buoy by the Coast Guard Station Weatherly is able to outpoint Ozone and passes them. And Speedy and Double Espresso coming from even further back and above pass Ozone. Ouch!!!
On the downwind leg to the Kalapaki buoy Weatherly was able to pass Fast Company as the boats all bunched together. After rounding the Kalapaki buoy and heading back upwind to the finish line it appeared that it could be anyone’s race in the shifting air. But it was Weatherly crossing the finish line first for line honors and first place in the PHRF Class. Great job! In second place was Fast Company 28 seconds behind and in third place was Speedy. In the Club Class Double Espresso with the youngest Kauai Sailing Association kids took first place with Ozone second and Bonjolea II third. It was actually a very challenging and fun race.
For the overall Doug Gibson Series it was Fast Company winning with 10 points, Bonjolea II in second with 13 points and Weatherly in third with 20 points. Congratulations!
The next series is the Invitational Series. Be sure to bring a guest.
for the results page and photos
by Charlotte Ross.