For the 3rd race of the 4 race Invitational Series Weatherly and Papa Au had on board the 3 Japanese around the world sailors who just sailed into town, as each boat is required to have a guest on board. The weather cooperated with a 12 knot breeze out of the North for course A-D-E. This 4.51 mile course had one outside lap to the lighthouse and 2 inside laps around the Kalapaki Buoy.
Fast Company was again the first boat to cross the starting line on starboard tack at the pin end with Ozone close behind but in their bad air. Bonjolea II had snagged a crab pot on their rudder and they were trying to shake it off, which they did. But as a result they started on port tack about halfway down the line and they were able to pass clearly in front of the other 6 boats in the fleet as a loud voice from an Olson 30 was heard to be yelling “starboard”. The “crab pot start” paid off.
All the other boats except for Papa Au tacked back towards the breakwater and then they tacked back when they got close to the rocks. Fast Company seemed to be outpointing Weatherly and Ozone. Later Papa Au tacked back towards the breakwater but they had to do 2 more tacks to make it out of the harbor. Bonjolea II tacked midway out of the harbor on the upwind leg to the Ninini Lighthouse Buoy followed by Fast Company, Weatherly, and Ozone. Bonjolea II rounded the buoy in the lead. Fast Company had tacked too early towards the buoy and they had to do 2 more tacks to get around it. This allowed Ozone next and Weatherly close behind to gain on Fast Company.
Under spinnaker now downwind Ozone was trying to give Fast Company bad air. But while the two boats were engaged, Weatherly went low and was able to pass Ozone and they were now side by side with Fast Company and challenging them. Fast Company was inside with rights at the G-11 buoy by the Coast Guard Station and they rounded ahead of Weatherly. But upwind Weatherly was able to outpoint Fast Company and Weatherly got ahead. Ozone had some spinnaker take down issues at the buoy and had to round wide, giving up some distance.
When Fast Company tacked towards the breakwater Weatherly quickly tacked to cover them. But Fast Company had noticed that the race committee course had the G-5 buoy as the finish line. So Fast Company tacked to go through the start-finish line as
required after each lap (in case the race committee shortens the race). However, Weatherly went outside the G-5 buoy perhaps thinking that they only had to stay inside the original pin end starting buoy. And so halfway to the Kalapaki Buoy Weatherly became aware of this and they turned back to re-round the G-5 buoy properly. This must have been heartbreaking to them (and I know it was to me) as it looked like they might beat Fast Company. Bonjolea II was way in the lead when Fast Company called over the radio that several boats had gone outside the buoy. Would those boats be disqualified?
Ozone was getting very nervous as Speedy was right on their stern and Weatherly had gained on both boats remarkably. And when Ozone was able to round the Kalapaki buoy without tacking they gained a little on Weatherly who had to tack twice to make it around. But Ozone caused more than a few chuckles in the fleet when downwind they put up their spinnaker sideways! By the way, this is not very fast... But rather than take it down quickly before the photos could be taken, skipper Chris Jordan decided to put up the jib in addition to the spinnaker and this helped.
Although Ozone was slower, neither Speedy nor Weatherly could quite overtake Ozone. And by staying inside the other 2 boats at the G-11 buoy by the Coast Guard Station before heading upwind to the finish line Ozone was able to stay to weather of the other two boats although the other two boats appeared to be faster. And when Speedy tacked onto port tack to head to the finish line, Ozone tacked to cover. And a 3 way horse race to the finish line was on between Ozone, Speedy and Weatherly!
And at the finish line it was Bonjolea II with Bonnie Tiffany on the helm taking line honors and first place for the 7th race in a row! Quite an accomplishment. Fast Company with Jim Saylor driving took second place. Ozone was in third only 15 seconds ahead of Speedy and Weatherly was a mere 3 seconds behind them after an incredible recovery from having to turn back and re-round the G-5 buoy. Double Espresso and Papa Au rounded out the fleet.
At 7pm an educational meeting open to the public was held in the KSA building with complimentary Chinese food for dinner. A large turnout of at least 46 people enjoyed stories from the 3 Japanese sailors who just arrived in town on the 47 foot “Yuimaru” on the last portion of their around the world sail which started out of Osaka on 4/1/22. Skipper Shin Kawamoto and crew Tatsuo Tsuchiyama and Shuji Nishimura answered many questions from a very enthusiastic crowd. The 3 sailors were given leis and burgees were exchanged. Holly and Denis Michaud from the catamaran “Tango” presented the crew with an elegant bottle of sake
which it appeared the crew would enjoy on their final leg of their voyage from Kauai back to Japan. They anticipate that this trip will take about 30 days.
The 3 Japanese sailors were hosted here on Kauai by Char Ono whose son had stayed with Mr. Kawamoto in Moriyama Japan, which just happens to be a sister city to Kauai. And Mr. Kawamoto’s daughter lived with Char here on Kauai for a year. Small world!
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