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Papa A‘u gets one ‘for Eric’

NAWILIWILI — Kato ran “over early,” and tangled lines in the wind pushed Papa A‘u to the podium Thursday during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Eric Wing Memorial Rum Series, Race No. 4, at Nawiliwili Harbor.

“Roger Cable, one of the crew aboard the Express 27 Papa A‘u, pronounced, ‘This one is for Eric!’ as they cross the finish line to win the Eric Wing Memorial, No. 4,” said Chris Jordan, skipper of OZone, who finished a consistent fourth in the race that rolled out in 7-to-10-knot winds coming out of the north-northeast.

“Eric Wing was part of the original crew — including Roger Cable and Andy Nickles — when (the late) Louie Abrams purchased the boat. Andy was responsible for naming the boat, which had previously been called ‘Angel Express.’ Eric designed the logo on the boat and the distinctive racing shirts worn by the crew.”

Kato swept to the front of the seven-boat fleet at the start of the three-leg, 5.8-mile course.

“The start of the race had the NYC Race Committee ruling the Olson 30 Kato over early (or crossing the start plane ahead of the start horn),” Jordan said. “They (the Kato crew) were unaware of that for quite some time, so when they turned around to restart, it cost them a tremendous amount of time. They had quite an amazing comeback, and the results of the race might have been different otherwise.”

Returning from the first Ninini Lighthouse leg, the wind was coming so far north the boats had to tack back towards the breakwater to make the Kalapaki buoy.

Papa A‘u stayed in the front of the traffic, along with Fast Company, which called an overlap at the G-11 buoy near the Coast Guard station in the three-way battle of Olson 30 boats.

“When OZone’s jib became tangled in the spinnaker halyard, Weatherly easily passed them,” Jordan said. “The OZone battle with Weatherly and their junior sailors and uncle Carl Andersson on the helm and Elizabeth Biuk on foredeck continued. Meanwhile, Bonjolea II, who had been out front heading towards the lighthouse, appeared to do a penalty turn and fell back.”

Fast Company rounded the Ninini Point buoy first, but Bonjolea II passed them on the downwind leg, chased by Weatherly and OZone.

“But when Bonjolea II decided to gybe inside the harbor, the lines got all mixed up and they had difficulty recovering,” Jordan said. “First, they headed to the G-5 buoy, and then they turned back, paralleling the starting line, until they could recover. This put them near the back of the fleet. It was painful to watch.”

“At the finish line, it was Papa A‘u taking first place in the PHRF Class by almost two minutes on corrected time over Fast Company, who had line honors on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 38 seconds, and correcting to 1:18:07 PHRF,” Jordan said.

Papa A‘u sounded the finish horn on a 1:19:14 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:16:11 PHRF for top honors.

“Get out the rum for Papa A‘u!” Jordan said. “The winning crew for Race No. 4 included Jeff Olsen on the helm, Roger Cable in the pit, Jan TenBruggencate on the mainsail, Andy Evans on the sheets, and Victoria Aiu on foredeck. Bill Peterson just returned to Kaua‘i, and he will be racing with the crew again shortly.”

The next race in the NYC Eric Wing 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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