OZone chips out lead in Joel Ehrlich series

NAWILIWILI —  While Fast Company was heading to O‘ahu to compete in the Lipton Cup Challenge this weekend, OZone attempted to capitalize with one of its primary rivals missing in the Joel Ehrlich Memorial Rum Series Race No. 5 Thursday.

But the winds, blowing in the 15 to 25-knot range out of the East northeast, replaced were plenty enough competition for everyone on the 5.12-mile two-lap course.

OZone, struggling to gain control in the winds, held off Bonjolea to eke out a win by less than a minute after crossing the line on a 56:58 elapsed sail and correcting to 57:03 PHRF for top honors.

Bonjolea had a clear lead, but with OZone hot on her tail relinquished it by the return leg.

The win gives OZone the lead in the series with three first finishes to Fast Company’s two first finishes.

Bonjolea crossed the line on a 1:00:18 elapsed sail, corrected to 57:59 PHRF.

Papa‘au filled in third place on a 1:00:57 elapsed sail, close on the tail of Bonjolea, corrected to 58:21 PHRF. She was followed by Lelele (1:00:22 elapsed, 1:00:11 PHRF), a Wells 30.

Mapuana, the second Wells boat in the race, crossed on a 1:03:48 elapsed sail corrected to 1:00:43 PHRF for fifth place. She also corrected to 54:25 Club for top honors in that class.

Malolo, a Hobie 33, filled in sixth place on a 1:01:18 elapsed sail corrected to 1:01:41 PHRF, followed by Speedy (1:02:03 elapsed, 1:02:09 PHRF) and Coyote (1:09:50 elapsed, 1:05:24 PHRF). Coyote also corrected to 56:32 Club for second place in that class.

Two more races remain in the series and the public is invited to view the competition on Thursday, when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. from the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall area.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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