The National Weather forecast called for 7 knots of breeze out of the West for the 5th race in the Jerry McKenna Memorial Series. But leaving the dock and at start time it was 7 knots of wind out of the East, our usual trade wind direction. But that was not to last...
The course turned out to be A-E over 3.4 miles as the race committee wisely decided to shorten the race from 3 laps to 2 in the light flukey air. Weatherly and Ozone were eager to try out their new #1 North sails for the first time. It was a pin end starboard start for the 5 boats in the race. Fast Company appeared to enjoy taking Speedy up above the buoy and making them turn around and restart. Ozone was to weather of all the boats but quickly found out that they were pointing 15 degrees lower than the other boats. It
turned out that one of their backstay blocks had jammed into a bulkhead so the backstay was unable to be tightened and they couldn’t use it. They ended up lower than all the other boats very quickly.
On the upwind leg to the Ninini Lighthouse buoy Bonjolea II was leading followed by Fast Company. Weatherly was heading in towards the beach when they saw a buoy that they thought represented divers down so they tacked onto port closing with Ozone on starboard. Ozone, unaware, kept going on starboard and Weatherly had to tack back slowing them down which allowed Ozone to pass them. But it turned out that these were just fishing pots and there were several of them in the water. Bonjolea rounded at the lighthouse in the lead, followed by Fast Company and later Ozone, Weatherly and Speedy. Weatherly and Speedy appeared to have some nice battles going on throughout the race.
After rounding the lighthouse buoy Bonjolea II and Fast Company took off on a port gybe downwind. But Ozone had set up for the usual tradewind starboard gybe so that they had to bear away and then later gybe the spinnaker onto port which cost them some time and Weatherly and Speedy were clearly gaining. When Bonjolea II gybed back to make it into the harbor it looked at first like they were heading to the Kalapaki buoy instead of G-11 by the Coast Guard Station. But then they quickly gybed back and although for awhile it seemed like Fast Company might take over the lead, Bonjolea II was able to stay in front. Fast Company then went in very close to the obstruction zone by the mole on the Kalapaki side.
What is usually the upwind leg from G-11 by the Coast Guard Station turned into a downwind leg with the frequent wind shifts as boats headed to the Kalapaki Buoy. Weatherly capitalized on this by putting up their spinnaker and they passed Speedy and they caught up to Ozone and were side by side with them. But Ozone was inside at the mark rounding and gained a little. But now the light flukey westerly winds made it tricky to get to the G-11 buoy. The race committee had shortened course so this was the last part of the race before finishing.
Bonjolea II took line honors but Fast Company made it 4 wins in a row on their corrected time of 57:05. Ozone took second place at 58:07, a mere 1 second over the third place Bonjolea II on corrected time (Ozone was very glad they had decided to clean their bottom.) Rounding out the fleet was Weatherly at 59:15 followed 45 seconds later by Speedy. Fast Company then picked up the starting buoy (with minimal complaints...) and Ozone picked up the obstruction marking buoy by the mole.
The winds were so strange for this race that at one point Fast Company who was ahead and Ozone behind were heading upwind on the same line to the Kalapaki buoy but they were on opposite tacks!
It was an interesting day to say the least.
Click for complete results and the raceQs replay on the Club Racing