The thunder and lightening just before race time made several boats decide not to race. But three brave (or foolish) boats made it out onto the race course. Ozone was seen to be paddling all the way out to the mole in the very light air. Because of this light air the race committee wisely decided to do two short inside the harbor courses with the first lap upwind towards the mountain in order to round the G-7 buoy and then downwind to the Kalapaki buoy. The second lap went upwind around the G-9 buoy and downwind to the Kalapaki buoy before heading upwind again to the finish line. The course distance was a short 1.66 miles with the winds occasionally reaching 8 knots out of the West. But just before the start the skies started to clear and a rainbow could be seen. Nice!
The three boats all started on starboard tack near the race committee. Ozone was a little in the lead and Speedy tacked away early onto port heading towards the cruise ship. A little more than halfway up the course Fast Company tacked and Ozone subsequently tacked to cover them. When Fast Company tacked back onto starboard it forced Ozone to tack below them, but they still made it around the G-7 buoy with Fast Company closely following. Speedy had fallen back and later rounded.
Downwind under spinnaker Fast Company fell off below Ozone and they were able to keep their spinnaker high and full under power and going fast. Ozone had tried to drop their pole to make the spinnaker more like a jib to head straight to the Kalapaki buoy instead of falling off. This slowed them down and when Fast Company came back up in the shifting wind they were able to push Ozone above the buoy, slowing Ozone down even more. Fast Company took the lead. But then Ozone had a better mark rounding and took the lead back. There was a great battle going on between the two boats.
Controversy soon ensued. After the first lap the boats are required to pass through the start-finish line in case the race committee decides to shorten the race. Ozone was close hauled ready to pass very close to the pin end of the starting line when Fast Company, who had over stood, sailed down on them calling “obstruction” and “room at the mark”. Since this was not a mark rounding and there was navigable water on either side of the pin, Ozone felt that this was more like barging at the start and that they did not believe that they needed to give room. However, in order to avoid a collision, Ozone fell off and Fast Company made it across the start finish line rather than having to circle back around. Strong words were heard between the two boats.
Upwind as they neared the G-9 buoy Ozone’s skipper Chris Jordan didn’t think he could make the buoy and he tacked away much to the consternation of his crew. Meanwhile Fast Company kept going and they made it around and they now had a significant lead. Fortunately the Ozone crew didn’t mutiny in spite of them being correct.
Downwind under spinnaker to the Kalapaki buoy Ozone was seen to gain on Fast Company. It was getting close at the buoy and back upwind to the finish line it was a horse race. And at the finish line Fast Company made it an incredible 6 wins in a row, beating Ozone by 11 seconds. Speedy followed and took third place. For the entire 6 race Jerry McKenna Series it was Fast Company with Jim Saylor on the helm taking first place with 6 bullets. Bonjolea II took second place and Ozone third.
The Roger Cable Memorial Rum Series is next with 7 races. This series is always one of my favorites. Bring on the Rum!
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