The Wahine Series of 5 races requires that a woman be on the helm. The first race had course E-A-B with an inside leg to the Kalapaki Buoy and two outside legs to the Ninini lighthouse buoy over a distance of 5.92 miles. The wind was out of the Northeast at 13 knots with larger gusts.
Fast Company crossed the starting line first with Jakki Nelson on the helm. Ozone was a little later but more to weather at the pin end as they headed to the Kalapaki buoy rounding. All the boats had to tack back towards the breakwater and then back towards the buoy. Fast Company rounded first. Weatherly, with Astrid Andersson on the helm, gave Ozone fits throughout the race.
Heading to the G-11 buoy by the Coast Guard Station Fast Company was under jib alone as they had no foredeck to run their spinnaker. Ozone came down under their small heavy duty spinnaker and Fast Company took them up which slowed them down. Weatherly was charging and now Speedy was catching up. When Ozone gybed their spinnaker they had to let Fast Company and Weatherly round ahead as they were in the 3 boat length circle first. Papa Au with Victoria Aiu steering was right on Ozone’s stern as they rounded. Speedy was there too but went a little wide.
Downwind from the Ninini Lighthouse buoy it was Weatherly taking over the lead as they passed above Fast Company under spinnaker. Fast Company started to try to take them up while under their jib which allowed Ozone to sneak in to leeward under spinnaker and to pass them. After rounding the G-11 buoy by the Coast Guard Station the boats headed to the Kalapaki buoy which was to be left to starboard before heading out to the lighthouse. Weatherly was in the lead followed by Ozone and Fast Company. Speedy, Double Espresso and Papa Au rounded out the fleet.
The last leg back in from the lighthouse had the additional challenge of the large propane tanker ship leaving the harbor with an accompanying tugboat. In order to try to catch Weatherly, Ozone had switched to their larger spinnaker and this seemed to help some as they gained on Weatherly. Fast Company somehow still managed to stay in the mix of things in third place with just their jib and no spinnaker.
At the final rounding of G-11 by the Coast Guard Station Ozone was slightly behind Weatherly but they made a tighter rounding so that they were upwind enough that Weatherly couldn’t tack back onto port tack until they reached the cruise ship obstruction zone. Ozone tacked at the same time and was now in front.
Ozone with Alison Fornari steering finished in first place in the PHRF Class with Weatherly only 19 seconds behind in second place, the Olson 30 very nicely helmed by Astrid Andersson. Fast Company with Jakki Nelson driving took third place doing remarkably well without using their spinnaker.
In the Club Class it was Double Espresso taking first place with Maile on the helm. Speedy took second place with Janice Portillo steering and Papa Au took third with Victoria Aiu driving.
It was good to have Papa Au out racing again with Roger Cable back in town and he was able to put a crew together, including “Big Ray” Woolard on the foredeck. Unfortunately they broke the fitting on the tip of their spinnaker pole so hopefully they can get that fixed before the next race.
Bonjolea II gave everyone a break as Bonnie Tiffany decided not to race after sweeping the Invitational Series. And where is the Olson 30 “Kato” these days? Someone needs to get Kevin and crew back together. They are always competitive on the race course.
The second race in the Wahine Series will be held on Thursday July 7th with a 5 pm start. The public is invited to watch the races and mingle with the race committee at the Nawiliwili mole parking area.
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for complete results and the RaceQs replay of the race.