Less than a minute separated the Olson 30 and the Sydney 36 as the boats struggled in heavy, inconsistent winds from the remnants of post-tropical storm Jimena on Thursday.
“Jimena continued to block our usual trade winds, and even provided a soaking rain which poured in over the Kipu mountain range,” said NYC Rear Commodore Fred Styer. “But clearly, the NYC skippers were eager to race following a two-week break and seven monohulls and a trimaran made it to the start line.”
In the end, OZone took the opening race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series in shallow 5 to 10 mph Kona winds, crossing the finish line second at 48 minutes and 33 seconds, but corrected to 48:37 PHRF for the honor.
Bonjolea II, the Sydney 36, was first across the line on a 47:52 elapsed sail, but after correction, settled for second place at 51:00 PHRF.
Another battle for third place ensued between Fast Compan and Weatherly, the Olson 30 skippered by Jim Saylor that slid across the finish line on a 55:15 elapsed sail. Following the correction, Fast Company settled in third place on a 55:20 PHRF, capturing third place ahead of Weatherly, who crossed the line on a 55:57 elapsed sail and corrected to 56:02 PHRF.
Weatherly corrected to 50:30 Club for top honors in that class followed by Speedy (52:47 Club) and Papaau (53:58 Club).
Papaau, in the mix for the third place fight, finished on a 58:59 elapsed sail and corrected for 56:28 PHRF, 22 seconds back of Weatherly for fifth place. Speedy (1:00:51 elapsed, 1:00:57 PHRF), Coyote (1:12:47 elapsed, 1:08:10 PHRF) and Trinity (1:10:07 elapsed, 1:19:49 PHRF) rounded out the fleet.
The six-race Gene Wells Series continues Thursday at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall area when first flags fly at 5 p.m.