Bonjolea II capitalized on the return of the 10 to 15 mph trade winds blowing out of the northeast to take the second race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series on Thursday.
The return of the trades bolstered the field to eight boats competing for top honors in the shoreline series named after one of the most beloved yacht club members, Gene Wells, who was an accomplished sailboat maker, said NYC Rear Commodore Fred Styer.
Bonjolea II, after struggling through the effects of the passage of tropical storms, jumped onto the trades to build an insurmountable lead returning on the down-wind run from the Ninini Point turnaround. That lead carried for the remainder of the 5.8-mile race to give her first-to-finish honors at 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 59 seconds, more than six minutes ahead of its closest competitor. Bonjolea II also corrected to 1:08:11 PHRF for top honors in the second race of the six-race series.
The battle for second place was waged between two Olson 30s, Fast Company and OZone, both consistent competitors. When the dust settled, Fast Company pulled across the finish line on an elapsed sail of 1:08:59, less than a minute ahead of OZone (1:09:22 elapsed), correcting to 1:09:05 PHRF, a mere 23 seconds ahead of OZone (1:09:28 PHRF).
Trinity, the sole trimaran in the fleet, worked hard against the battling pair of Olson 30s.
OZone grabbed the lead coming off the down-wind leg, but lost ground to Fast Company due to a tangle in its jib halyard. This gave Fast Company the No. 2 spot, and despite a strong finish by Trinity on a 1:10:52 elapsed sail, it was relegated to the eighth spot on the 1:20:40 PHRF correction. She also corrected to 1:03:19 Club for top honors in that division.
Other boats in the fleet saw Papaau cross on a 1:13:08 elapsed and correct to 1:10:01 PHRF followed by Weatherly (1:14:37 elapsed, 1:14:44 PHRF), Coyote (1:22:45 elapsed, 1:17:30 PHRF), and Speedy (1:17:45 elapsed, 1:17:52 PHRF).
Coyote corrected to 1:05:02 Club for second place honors in that class with Papaau correcting to 1:06:55 Club to fill in the leaders of that division.
The Gene Wells Memorial Series continues with Race No. 3, Thursday at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.