The wind and waves were again challenging for the Jerry McKenna Memorial Series Race #4. Since the first race was cancelled that means that Fast Company with Jim Saylor on the helm has now swept all 3 races. The course was A-C with 2 outside laps to the Ninini lighthouse buoy over a distance of 5 miles. The wind was 18 knots out of the East Northeast with stronger gusts and the boats had their mainsails reefed. The waves were big!
RaceQ’s was not available to help me describe the race and Ozone had to retire from the race early due to a starboard intermediate shroud that broke while pounding upwind so this will be a briefer article than usual. Shortly after the start Fast Company tacked back towards the breakwater. Ozone should have tacked to cover them but kept going in towards Kalapaki Bay where the winds were lighter and they were getting headed, but it made for 2 less tacks. Ozone tacked as soon as they could make it out of the harbor and Fast Company kept going further in towards the rocks at the Kukui lighthouse. When they met up at the Ninini lighthouse buoy, it was Fast Company rounding just ahead of Ozone as Ozone over stood the mark.
Downwind Ozone caught a big wave and had fun surfing really fast, but it was not enough to catch Fast Company. On the next upwind leg is when disaster struck Ozone, who was in second place at the time. While pounding into the waves a large “bang” was heard and the wire intermediate shroud on Ozone’s starboard side parted. This was one of the six shrouds that holds up the mast so Ozone quickly tacked to put the pressure on the 3 good port shrouds. A halyard was then attached to the broken shroud site on the deck to help support the mast. The jib was taken down and Ozone limped back to the dock. All was not lost however as it was Ozone’s longest crew member Alison Fornari’s birthday and a celebration with a tiramisu cake with candles ensued.
Meanwhile, back on the race course it was Fast Company taking line honors and first place in the PHRF Class with an elapsed time of 58:26. Bonjolea II was next with an elapsed time of 1:01:14 and Speedy took third place at 1:05:35. Weatherly rounded out the fleet at 1:07:21. It was quite a challenging day!
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