NAWILIWILI — Bonjolea II fought the clock and lost Thursday at Nawiliwili Harbor.
“She needs at least a four-minute lead to take the race,” said Ken Martinez of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Race Committee, during the opening race of the NYC Junior Invitational Series at Nawiliwili Harbor.
The Sydney 36 piloted by Bonnie Tiffany got no help from the winds which Fred Styer, the NYC Rear Commodore, described at “crisp and gentle,” blowing in the 10 to 15 mph range out of the north-northeast as Bonjolea crossed the three-leg, 4-51-mile course on an elapsed sail of 54 minutes, 35 seconds, more than two minutes ahead of OZone (56:30 elapsed).
With the correction factors applied, OZone was declared the winner on a 56:35 PHRF, followed by Fast Company who crossed on a 57:24 elapsed sail and corrected to 57:29 PHRF. Bonjolea II corrected to 58:10 PHRF for third place in the six-boat fleet.
The battle for second place had the more than 20 spectators watching intently as Fast Company held a slight lead coming in from the opening leg which brought the fleet out to the Ninini Point Lighthouse turnaround. Heading into the final turn of the first leg, OZone’s tack gave the Olson 30 the lead through the remainder of the race.
Fast Company put on a last-ditch challenge on the top end, taking a tack closer to the mountains while OZone took the high road bringing the Olson 30 close to the jetty wall. The effort came up short and Fast Company settled for the No. 2 spot.
“Jim Saylor, at the stick for Fast Company, did that same maneuver in a previous race,” Martinez said. “In that race, he pulled off a half-second lead. There wasn’t enough wind this time.”
Adding to the challenge, each participating boat had to have at least one junior between 8 through 18 years old aboard. Additionally, the junior had to be wearing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. This threw Coyote out of the fray as spectators tried to locate her junior.
Weatherly, with Risa Whetsel, 13, at the stick, supplemented the steersperson with its life jacketed junior, filling in the No. 4 spot on an elapsed sail of 59:37 and correcting to 59:43 PHRF despite putting on a strong challenge to the No. 3 overall sitting by Fast Company.
Speedy, bringing up the tail end of the fleet on a 1:01:12 elapsed sail, corrected to 1:01:18 PHRF. She also corrected to 53:05 Club for top honors in that class followed by Weatherly (53:48 Club) and Coyote (DQ).
The four-race Junior Invitational Series continues Thursday with the NYC Race Committee inviting people to view the competition when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.