I have sometimes been less than enthusiastic about the 4 Shorts Series races that are all inside the harbor. But this one I enjoyed. The course was D-E-D-E with 4 laps, more than we usually do, so that the foredeck crew really got a workout putting up and taking down the spinnaker over a short distance. The Kalapaki buoy was the weather mark in each lap and then it alternated downwind around G-7 and G-11 for the “D” lap or just to the G-11 buoy by the Coast Guard Station for the “E” lap. The distance was only 4.22 miles and the winds were North-northeast at 13 knots.
Ozone had practiced their start at least 4 times by the pin end on starboard tack. Although skipper Chris Jordan thought that they were going to be over early and wanted to fall off to run the line, the crew correctly insisted (loudly) that they were right on and they nailed the start. Bonjolea II was just a little behind and below them. Weatherly started on port tack by the race committee which has paid off for them before, but the starboard tack start was essentially the lay line to the Kalapaki buoy. Papa Au started on starboard tack about midway down the line and it might be their last race as the boat has been sold. But hope springs eternal as the boat was sold to the family of one of the Kauai Sailing Association girls.
On the first inside lap to the Kalapaki buoy, Bonjolea II was able to outpoint and outspeed Ozone and they got up to weather and side by side with Ozone. But Ozone had inside rights at the Kalapaki buoy and rounded first. It was a port pole spinnaker set for each lap. With their spinnaker up and the pole back, Ozone could sail deeper than Bonjolea II, a boat that likes to reach up and go really fast. Ozone struggled to stay in front of Bonjolea II and again they were able to get the inside overlap with rights at the G-7 buoy. Bonjolea II had gained a lot but Ozone was barely able to maintain an inside overlap at the G-11 buoy by the Coast Guard Station and they rounded in the lead once again. Bonjolea II, close on Ozone’s stern, was now in bad air from Ozone and they tacked away early towards the breakwater. In retrospect, Ozone should have tacked to cover them. But Ozone’s skipper thinks that it usually pays off to keep sailing towards the cruise ship and mole area. But skipper Chris Jordan didn’t account for the more northerly wind and when he tacked the boat at the usual spot he had way over stood, giving up a huge distance to Bonjolea II who now passed almost a football field ahead when they met up again. Double Espresso had a spinnaker issue when the sail was flying free without a pole and they had to take the spinnaker down which definitely slowed them down some. A learning experience. And Weatherly, with Astrid Andersson on the helm gained even more.
The boat positions stayed the same for the rest of the race. And at the finish line it was Bonjolea II taking line honors and first place with Bonnie Tiffany steering. Ozone was hoping that on handicap time they would beat Bonjolea II but that was not to be and they finished in second place by 11 seconds. (The Ozone crew work was flawless and if the skipper had better tactics the race results might have been different!). In third place was Weatherly and they were followed by Double Espresso and Papa Au. The skippers for Speedy and Fast Company were out of town and those two boats didn’t race.
Afterwards at the clubhouse an educational event was hosted by Sea and Bill Peterson. We celebrated Bill’s birthday and there was a delicious cake. (Sea has obviously kept her husband looking young). Bill gave a fabulous talk with videos about his race across the Atlantic from East to West and down to the Caribbean on a large catamaran. They kept the same spinnaker up for days and went the shortest distance on the rhumb line. And they got an amazing second place! It made me wish that I was on the boat.
The food was fantastic with chicken sliders, ribs, pizza, salad and more. With at least 30 people present there were hardly any leftovers. Everyone seemed to be having a really good time, including David and Emily Cuevas who just flew in from the Caribbean where they are Captain and crew on a large sailing charter. David was guest mainsail trimmer on Ozone and Emily, who learned to sail through the Kauai Sailing Association, was guest mainsail trimmer on Double Espresso. Rumor has it that they were lookingat the catamaran Kaleiwa...
The next race in the Shorts Series may have some new courses added going to the G-9 and G-5 buoys to mix things up. So keep a lookout for these new courses. The public is invited to watch the race next Thursday 8/10/23 with a 5pm start. See you there!
Click the link for complete results and the RaceQs replay of the race on the Club Racing