Fornari, OZone overcome Kona winds

The Kona course was the answer to the whisper of wind at 5 to 10 mph from out of the south-southeast Thursday during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Wahine Series, Race No. 3.

“The very gentle south-southeast winds were just enough to bring seven sailboats to the starting line,” said NYC Rear Commodore Fred Styer. “The Race Committee decided to play the Kona courses which proved to be a challenge for the larger boats.”

More than two dozen spectators at the mole were anxious to see how the “new” course would play out.

OZone, with Alison Formari at the stick, topped the field and eluded the subsiding winds with First to Finish honors at an elapsed sail of 39 minutes, 55 seconds, and corrected to 39:59 PHRF for top overall honors.

“With a whisper of a breeze at 5 to 10 mph, it was remarkable how fast the Olsen 30 monohulls moved,” Styer said. “It was almost like ice skaters on a freshly frozen lake.”

OZone was one of three Olsen 30s participating in the race which required a wahine, or female, on the wheel throughout the event which spanned two legs at 2.99 miles.

Following OZone, Tess Moeller piloted Fast Company, the second of three Olsen 30s, to a 42:27 elapsed sail and corrected to 42:31 PHRF for runner-up honors.

Bonnie Tiffany was behind the wheel of Bonjolea II, a Sydney 36 which was one of the “larger” boats, and was relegated to third place on a 43:20 elapsed sail and corrected to 46:10 PHRF, less than 1 minute back of Weatherly.

Brianna Ryan, who was at the stick of Weatherly, was one of two teenagers in the race who demonstrated her navigational skills to pilot the third Olsen 30 to its close finish behind Bonjolea II on a 46:52 elapsed sail and corrected to 46:56 PHRF. She also corrected to 42:18 Club for top honors in that class.

Marcie Millet, piloting Papaau, miscalculated at the start, setting her sights for the No. 9 can before realizing everyone else was spinning around the No. 7 can headed to the Red No. 2. The miscue put the Express 27 into a 55:04 elapsed sail and corrected to 48:01 PHRF, and 45:54 Club for second place honors in the Club class.

Victoria Aiu could only offer prayers for more wind as she piloted Trinity, the normally fleet-footed trimaran to a 55:04 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:02:41 PHRF. Karen Cole’s new spinnaker aboard Coyote was a victim of the subsiding Kona winds as she pushed the C&C 38 across the line on a 1:30:44 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:24:50 PHRF.

The Wahine Series concludes Thursday with its final race. Styer said the public in invited to view the competition with the NYC Race Committee at the jetty wall area when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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