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Fornari takes NYC Wahine Series opener

NAWILIWILI — Alison Fornari took over OZone’s stick and piloted the 30-foot Olson to a comeback win during the opening race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Wahine Series at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

“The Wahine Series of four races requires that a woman steer the boat,” said Chris Jordan, the OZone “tactician.” “This has always been one of my favorite series.”

Steering in light, 9-to-11-knot winds blowing out of the east-northeast, Fornari took OZone over the 6.03-mile course with three legs from a “terrible” start to a win over challenging Bonjolea II by just 26 ticks.

Kristina Chapman pushed Speedy to the front of the pack at the start and kept the lead rounding the Kalapaki buoy heading to open water.

“Double Espresso had the youngest Kaua‘i Sailing Association sailors aboard with Yeva on the helm,” Jordan said. “Although they started way down the line away from what appeared to be the pin-end favored start (probably to avoid all those aggressive sailors in the seven-boat fleet), they were surprisingly right in the thick of things at the first mark. And, later, they flew their spinnaker. Great job! Uncle Carl Andersson was very proud of them.”

OZone and Weatherly with Astrid Andersson at the stick brought up the tail-end of the seven-boat pack, but Fornari pointed better upwind and pushed OZone to the first of six Olson 30s to round the Ninini Point buoy, challenging the lead held by Bonjolea II, who had Bonnie Tiffany on the wheel.

“The leaders were challenged by Kato with Emily Martin steering (was she barking orders to her fellow crew and husband Aaron?),” Jordan said. “Then, Fast Company with famous chef Jakki Nelson on the stick. Jim Saylor must have felt very safe with her steering, as he wasn’t wearing his usual protective helmet.”

Papa A‘u had Victoria Aiu steering, and Weatherly had Astrid Andersson steering with the older KSA sailors. Karen Cold was at the wheel of “the lovely Benateau Oceanis 41 ‘Iwa.”

Little changed for the race with the exception of a mishap at the G-11 buoy downwind run when spinnakers needed to be taken down and the jibs needed to go up.

“Weatherly was able to get inside Fast Company at the mark,” Jordan said. “But Fast Company did not give Weatherly the required room, and Weatherly hit the buoy. Fast Company did their two penalty turns for fouling Weatherly, and Weatherly did two penalty turns for hitting the buoy. These penalty turns allowed Papa A‘u to gain.”

Bonjolea II picked up line honors, crossing the line first on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 4 seconds, chased by OZone sounding the finish horn more than four minutes later.

But the Sydney 36 corrected to 1:16:29 PHRF, not enough to capture the overall win. OZone corrected to 1:16:03 PHRF for the overall victory. Papa A‘u (1:21:03 elapsed sail) filled in third place on a 1:17:56 PHRF, with Kato (1:17:31 elapsed sail) settling in fourth at 1:18:22 PHRF.

Speedy (1:23:06 elapsed) corrected to 1:12:48 Club for top honors in that class competition, followed by Weatherly (1:19:59 elapsed, 1:14:29 Club) and Kato (1:16:55 Club).

The second race of the NYC Wahine Series takes off Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. at Nawiliwili Harbor.

Following Thursday’s race, a talk about the five-day Kaua‘i Sailing Association studies of the reef and its surroundings, and the discovery of a rare coral at Nualolo, will be led by Astrid Andersson. Dinner will be available for $15, and no RSVP is required.

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Dennis Fujimoto can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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