Bonjolea II, Papaau battle for top spots

NAWILIWILI — Just one second separated the first and second place winners on Thursday as the Nawiliwili Yacht Club hosted the final race of its Horse and Pony Shoreline Series at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

Bonjolea II blossomed at the Ninini Point turnaround and executed a smooth downwind spinnaker run to overtake Fast Company to finish with an elapsed sail of 28 minutes, 54 seconds, correcting to 30:48 PHRF. That was just one second faster than Fast Company, who stopped the clock on a 30:46 elapsed sail and corrected to 30:49 PHRF.

“Those lead exchanges had about 20 spectators cheering at the mole,” said NYC Rear Commodore Fred Styer. “Fast Company secured the lead in winds of 8 to 12 mph out of the northeast, but Bonjolea II was able to catch the Olsen 30 and finish ahead of its handicap for top honors.”

Following the leaders of the Horse portion of the race, Papaau, finishing fourth overall on a 32:33 elapsed sail, corrected to 31:10 PHRF for third place, a mere two ticks ahead of OZone who crossed third overall on a 31:09 elapsed sail, correcting to 31:12 PHRF for fourth place.

Weatherly (33:14 elapsed sail, 33:17 PHRF), Coyote (36:21 elapsed sail, 34:03 PHRF) and Trinity (30:24 elapsed sail, 34:36 PHRF) rounded out the Horse phase.

But the race was not over as the Pony phase kicked in and spectators were treated to the introduction of Brianna Ryan who piloted the Weatherly Pony to a third-place finish. Ed Tschupp steered the Papaau Pony to a first finish in that phase to give the crew of the Express 27 a combined four points for both finishes.

Bonjolea II’s Kevin Arndt finished fourth in the Pony race to the No. 5 green can to give the crew of the Sydney 36 a combined five points for second place combined. OZone had Steve Mitchell moving the Pony to a second overall finish for a combined score of six points and third place. Adrian Bertch took the Pony stick for Fast Company, finishing in fifth place for a combined seven points and fourth in the combined fleet. Ryan, with her third-place Pony finish, gave the Weatherly crew a combined eight points to round out the field.

This was the final race of the 4-race Horse and Pony Series, but final placements will be forthcoming pending outcomes of protests flagged during the series.

The NYC Race Committee invites spectators to the opening race of its Wahine Series, in which a wahine needs to be at the helm of the participating vessel. The series starts Thursday with the first flags flying at 5 p.m.

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