The building trade winds were enough to spark Bonjolea II to victory Thursday as the Nawiliwili Yacht Club hosted its fourth race of the Gene Wells Memorial Series at Nawiliwili Harbor.
Before the race could start, Weatherly pulled out due to equipment issues, said NYC Rear Commodore Fred Styer. The planned departure of the cruise ship Statendam put more pressure on the seven-boat fleet which took off on the 4.92-mile, two-leg course under strong 15 to 20 mph northerly trades.
Papaau, an Express 27, developed a full boat’s lead which came back to reap harvest for its crew after finishing fourth overall on an elapsed sail of 57 minutes, 9 seconds, but corrected to 54:43 PHRF to end the race in second place, 43 seconds behind Bonjolea II, who crossed first overall on a 50:41 elapsed sail and corrected to 54:00 PHRF.
The two Olson 30s, OZone and Fast Company, battled for third place. OZone crossed the line at 56:42, a mere 7 seconds ahead of Fast Company (56:49), and corrected to 56:47 PHRF and third place over Fast Company (56:54 PHRF).
Ocean battles churned up in the very brisk winds.
“Bonjolea II was in full form as she held off a formidable challenge from Trinity to capture first-to-finish honors,” Styer said. “OZone and Fast Company battled the final stretch as they negotiated the last turn around Green Buoy No. 11. Although Fast Company rounded first, OZone held an impressive up-wind tack which proved to win third place by seven seconds.”
The battles saw Trinity (53:19 elapsed, 1:00:42 PHRF) correct to 47:38 Club for top honors in that class, less than 1 second ahead of Coyote, who impressed the spectators by holding close to the race front-runners, eventually crossing at 1:04:18 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:00:13 PHRF. She corrected to 50:323 Club for second place honors in that class with Speedy (59:48 elapsed, 59:54 PHRF) correcting to 51:53 Club for third place honors.
The fifth race of the seven-race series runs Thursday when the NYC Race Committee hoists the first flags at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall area.