Bonjolea II keeps Rum Race interesting

NAWILIWILI — Two races remain in the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Race Series, and the lead is still up for grabs as Bonjolea II shook up the bag with a first finish Thursday at Nawiliwili Harbor.

Papaau, an Express 27, currently leads the series with two first finishes, and is challenged by OZone, an Olson 30, who picked up a win by two seconds over Papaau in the second race of the series on April 14.

OZone’s attempt at tying the series lead was thwarted Thursday as the fleet took off in 7- to 10-knot winds blowing out of the east. This was ideal for the Sydney 36 piloted by Bonnie Tiffany as Bonjolea II dominated the field, clearing the 5.91-mile, three-leg course on a solid elapsed sail of 1 hour, 5 minutes and 59 seconds, more than 10 minutes ahead of OZone (1:11:08 elapsed sail).

The unchallenged domination put Bonjolea II in first place following the PHRF correction at 1:10:18 PHRF, the elapsed sail being strong enough to relegate OZone into second place with a 1:11:14 PHRF following the correction.

Papaau, the current series leader, was caught in a battle for third place with OZone and Fast Company.

Fast Company suffered an “early-over,” or the boat crossing the start line ahead of the starting horn and had to double back for a restart, giving Papaau an advantage off the line.

The advantage was gone by the end of the nearly six-mile course as OZone slipped across the finish line just 40 ticks ahead of Fast Company (1:11:49 elapsed sail) with Papaau crossing fourth overall at 1:15:08. Her finish was enough to give her third place by one second (1:11:55 PHRF) over Fast Company who corrected to 1:11:56 PHRF.

The remainder of the fleet followed, Weatherly (1:19:16 elapsed, 1:19:23 PHRF), Coyote (1:26:53 elapsed, 1:21:22 PHRF), Speedy (1:22:52 elapsed, 1:22:59 PHRF), and Trinity (1:15:09 elapsed, 1:25:32 PHRF).

Coyote, a C&C 38, corrected to 1:08:57 Club for top honors in that class followed by Trinity (1:10:23 Club) and Fast Company (1:10:30 Club).

The public is invited the view the competition Thursday with the NYC Race Committee at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty wall parking area when the Rum Race Series unfolds when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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