Bonjolea II wins Horse & Pony opener

Mike Armstrong, sailing the “Pony” for the Bonjolea II crew, finished third in the pony race Thursday during the opening race for the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Horse and Pony Series.

The finish, although not the first, was enough to give the Sydney 36 top honors in the race with a combined four points, a point ahead of Papaau, getting Tim Perry aboard the pony, and Fast Company with Bill Evslin piloting the pony.

OZone, with Thor Temme on its pony, followed at six points and Speedy, with Victoria Aiu doing the honors, rounding out the fleet at 10 points.

Fred Styer, rear commodore for the NYC, said winds were consistent in the 10 to 15 mph range and held up throughout the two-part race where each large sailboat, or “horse” teams up with a small sailboat, or “pony,” for a combined finishing score.

The opening leg of the race calls for the yacht fleet to sail out to the Ninini Point turnaround and back to the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor where the designated sailor of the pony, or Laser Class boat, would compete in the Pony race.

Bonjolea II, in Styer’s words, “revealed her speed,” covering the opening 2.4-mile course on an elapsed sail of 25 minutes, 50 seconds, correcting to 27:32 PHRF to top the field by five seconds over OZone, who crossed on a 27:34 elapsed sail and corrected to 27:37 PHRF.

Fast Company followed on a 28:54 elapsed sail, but was bumped to fourth in the PHRF correction as Papaau, crossing on a 29:31 elapsed sail, corrected to 28:15 PHRF over Fast Company’s 28:57 PHRF. Speedy rounded out the horse race on a 31:34 elapsed sail, correcting to 31:37 PHRF.

Styer said the NYC Race Committee started the pony race from the boat ramp area where Tim Perry from Papaau held the lead around the Green No. 5. Bill Evslin, a veteran Laser sailor, overtook Perry in the final 500 yards downwind to cap an exciting finish.

The public is invited to view the second race in the NYC Horse & Pony Shoreline Series race Thursday near the jetty wall area when first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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