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Chris Jordan | Published on 2/18/2023

The Opening Day races on Saturday February 4th were cancelled due to heavy rain and lightening and thunder very close to the boats at the dock. That was a good call by the race committee. But hamburgers and hot dogs were later available thanks to the efforts of John Sawyer with quite a large number of sailors and community members showing up. And then the first race of the Jerry McKenna Memorial Series on 2/9/23 was cancelled due to very heavy winds with gusts over 30.

Dr. McKenna
was a well known and highly respected psychiatrist on Kauai. He also owned the boat Windspan which he raced occasionally. So the actual first race of the season after being off for over 3 months was the Jerry McKenna Race #2. The boats and crews eagerly headed out to the starting line. Fast Company set the very nice new pin end buoy and Ozone set the new small buoy at the opposite end of the mole from the red #6 buoy to clearly mark the obstruction zone next to the mole (which will help to keep us away from the fisherman as well as to avoid other issues).

But a few minutes before the start disaster struck Ozone as their backstay parted. By feathering the boat upwind the crew was able to jury rig a backstay. But not wanting to lose the mast, the decision was made to go back to the dock. The mainsail was dropped and the boat limped back to the slip under jib alone. Although the crew was discouraged, they plan to be back next week to spice up the competition.

The course for the Jerry McKenna Memorial Race #2 was A-B-D over 6.03 miles. This had two outside laps to the lighthouse buoy followed by an inside the harbor lap around the Kalapaki Buoy. The wind was out of the East at 15 knots. The 5 boats in the race lined up near the pin end at the start and it looked like Weatherly jumped out in the lead. Bonjolea II tacked early towards the breakwater and when they tacked back they appeared to be on a lifted course. Indeed when they met up with the other boats they crossed ahead in the lead. Double Espresso has the youngest Kauai Sailing Association kids on board and they were thrilled to have a new mainsail and #3 jib thanks to some generous donors. In fact, it looked like the boat was outpointing some of the other Olson 30’s in the fleet. When Double Espresso tacked back towards the Timbers resort it looked like Weatherly was forced to also tack that way. Other boats followed. At the Ninini Lighthouse Buoy rounding it was Bonjolea II, Fast Company, Double Espresso and it looked like Speedy was able to sneak inside of Weatherly who may have over stood a little. But downwind under spinnaker Weatherly was able to pass Double Espresso and they challenged Speedy.

At the leeward mark at G-11 by the Coast Guard Station Weatherly had spinnaker takedown issues and they appeared to have fouled Speedy. Indeed they did 2 penalty turns and Double Espresso caught up to them. At the Ninini Lighthouse Buoy rounding Double Espresso was leading Weatherly, but downwind under spinnaker at the G-7 buoy Weatherly was again ahead. Double Espresso had spinnaker takedown issues once again at the leeward G-11 rounding and they ended up going way over by the cruise ship which cost them a lot of time.

Meanwhile Bonjolea II with Bonnie Tiffany on the helm had stayed out in front of the fleet in clear air and they took line honors at the finish line. But the very fast Sydney 36 has a handicap of 66 and owes the Olson 30’s 33 seconds a mile with their PHRF handicap. So after the calculations were done, it was Fast Company with Jim Saylor on the helm taking first place by a mere 3 seconds. Speedy took third place followed by Weatherly and Double Espresso. The young kids on Double Espresso took first place in the Club Class and Weatherly took second based on their handicaps. A squall came through at the end giving the fleet a wet blessing.

crews went up to the KSA building where they joined community members (total 32) for an educational event and a potluck meal. John Ross gave a very nice talk about the RaceQ’s APP and how to use it on your phone and computer. He is incredibly knowledgeable about the system and although I thought I knew a lot I learned some new things.

The Jerry McKenna Memorial Race #3 will be held on Thursday 2/23/2023. The public is invited to watch the race from the Nawiliwili mole parking area. The KSA building will be available for a community educational event open to the public and bento boxes will be available for $15. Please contact John Sawyer with how many bento boxes you would like to order at 1-785-790-3350.


Click for complete results and the raceQs replay of race on the Club Racing page.