Fonari claims wahine series

NAWILIWILI — There was a question on whether or not a race could be held in a whisper of wind, Thursday.

The Hawaiian Islands, sandwiched between storms on the east and west, saw its normal trade winds cut off resulting in a consistent four-foot set and calm seas.

“I got 5 mph,” said NYC Rear Commodore Fred Styler. “The boats are here, and we’ll see if we can have a race.”

The calm conditions generated its share of excitement from the onset as Tess Moeller, piloting Fast Company, eked out a lead over Bonnie Tiffany aboard Bonjolea II at the start. But by the return leg from the Ninini Point turnaround, a journey which lagged into a 45-minute drag, Alison Fonari aboard OZone had claimed the lead.

She got help from the battle for second place between Fast Company and Bonjolea II, sliding her lead to victory on an elapsed sail of 47 minutes, 52 seconds over the 3.40-mile single leg course, corrected to 47:56 PHRF for top overall honors.

The win also unofficially gives OZone the series after Fonari carved out a first finish to give her two first finishes over the four-race series.

Fast Company, hampered by its battle for second place, was relegated to third place by four seconds when Papaau, with Marcie Millett at the helm, pushed the Express 27 across the finish line at 52:41 elapsed sail, but corrected to 50:36 PHRF for the second-place honor.

Fast Company crossed at 50:27 elapsed sail, second overall, but finished in third place on a 50:32 PHRF final.

Weatherly, with teenager Brianna Ryan at the stick and pulling off a tactical coup off the starting line, slipped across on a 53:02 elapsed sail, corrected to 53:07 PHRF followed by Bonjolea II, crossing on a 50:34 elapsed sail after doing a 360 penalty turn on the final buoy, corrected to 53:53 PHRF.

Mary Kopitzke, piloting Trinity, the only trimaran multi-hull in the fleet, succumbed to the calm conditions, crossing on a 52:41 elapsed sail, and corrected to 59:58 PHRF. After masterfully overtaking two boats en route to the final turn, Trinity corrected to 47:04 Club for top honors in that class.

Coyote, with Karen Cole behind the wheel, pulled out her new spinnaker in the 8 to 10 mph westerlies which closed the race, much to the thrill of the mole spectators. Coyote rounded out the fleet on a 1:12:22 elapsed sail, corrected to 1:07:47 PHRF.

The public is invited to the competition when the NYC Race Committee hosts the opening race of the Gene Wells Memorial Series on Sept. 10 with first flags flying at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall area.

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