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Kato takes first race of the NYC Invitational Series

NAWILIWILI — Traffic woes in the middle of the pack paved the way for Kato, with Invitational Ian aboard, to take the opening race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Invitational Series at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

Racing in light air in the 6- to 10-knot breaths blowing out of the east-northeast, Bonjolea II, with Invitational Saraya aboard, claimed top line honors on an elapsed sail of 41 minutes, 36 seconds, but corrected to 44:46 PHRF and settle for runner-up honors.

“The Invitational Race Series of four races requires a guest on board as part of the rules in order to expand interest in sailing and racing,” said Chris Jordan, the skipper aboard OZone that finished third overall on a 45:21 PHRF (45:04 elapsed sail). “Speedy was penalized when their invited guest had a family emergency at the last minute, although I offered to give them a doctor’s excuse to give to the Race Committee.”

Kato steered clear of the traffic and kept its gap against Bonjolea II to cross on a 43:18 elapsed sail for runner-up line honors, and corrected to 43:46 PHRF, a full minute advantage over Bonjolea II for the win.

“This win was a nice birthday present for crew person Katie Christofferson,” Jordan said.

At the start, it appeared that Bonjolea II and Speedy were early and both boats turned around to restart, Jordan said.

Fast Company was the sole entry to have a port tack on the start and was the victim of jockeying for control of both air and line to the Ninini Point lighthouse buoy where Bonjolea II rounded first followed by Kato and OZone.

“Subsequently, there was a lot of excitement at the buoy,” Jordan said. “As Speedy came in on starboard tack, Weatherly lee-bowed them on the inside. As the two boats came into the three-boat length circle at the buoy on starboard tack, Fast Company was trying to sneak in on port tack but they fouled Weatherly. Weatherly put up their protest flag and barely missed hitting the buoy by inches. Fast Company continued downwind for a while and then did their two penalty turns — with their spinnaker up! I have never seen or heard of anyone doing that before — it looked like they had a spinnaker wrap for awhile in the shape of an hour glass. All of this put them back in last position.”

The second race of the NYC Invitational Series takes place Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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

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