NAWILIWILI — This is what happens when you put a wahine behind the wheel, said Doug Gibson of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Race Committee on Thursday.
Bonnie Tiffany, piloting Bonjolea II, held off strong challenges from Papaau, piloted by Maricella Millet, to capture top honors in the first of four races in the NYC Wahine Series.
Bonjolea II grabbed control of the race from the onset, grappling with Fast Company, the overall winner of the past Horse and Pony Series.
Papaau took a different tack from the pack and by the Kalapaki can, had pulled to second place ahead of Fast Company and OZone.
Rounding the can, the shark spinnaker blossomed aboard Bonjolea, but the boost could not shake Papaau who rode the Sydney 36’s stern.
Tiffany maneuvered the 36-foot boat into position to steal the air from Papaau, a 27-footer. That worked, but only for seconds as Papaau grabbed the lead heading to the Green No. 11 turn.
The lead tumbled as mishap claimed Papaau, giving up its lead, and also its position as three other boats past her on the remedial turn.
Bonjolea II was able to hold off all other challenges, crossing the line first overall on a sail of 56 minutes, 24 seconds and corrected to 1:00:06 PHRF for top honors in that class.
Papaau crossed third on a 1:07:14 elapsed sail, but corrected to 1:04:22 PHRF for runner-up honors, a mere 31 ticks ahead of OZone, piloted by Alison Fornari, who crossed second overall on a 1:04:47 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:04:53 PHRF for third place honors.
Trinity, an F-28 trimaran with Mary Kopitzke at the stick, crossed sixth at 1:07:34 elapsed and corrected to 1:16:55 PHRF for seventh place in the class. She also corrected to 58:50 Club for top honors in that class.
Other boats in the fleet included Fast Company, with Jakki Nelson at the stick, crossing at 1:05:52 elapsed and correcting to 1:05:58 PHRF, Speedy, with Victoria Aiu at the helm, crossing at 1:12:03 elapsed and correcting to 1:12:10 PHRF, and Coyote, with Karen Cole behind the wheel, crossing at 1:20:44 elapsed and correcting to 1:15:37 PHRF.
The series continues Thursday and the public is invited to view the competition with the NYC Race Committee at the Nawiliwili jetty wall when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.