Papaau, OZone tied for lead of Rum Race Series

With just one race remaining in the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Race Series, Papaau and OZone are deadlocked for the standings lead following OZone’s win Thursday at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

This Thursday is the final race of the six-race series with everything on the line — especially for Papaau and OZone. Bonjolea II, a Sydney 36, lurks in the shadow just a point back in second place.

A whisper of a breeze out of the southeast pushed the NYC Race Committee to a two-leg, 4.45-mile course, described as the Kona course with four downward legs that challenged the boat crews to set spinnakers quickly and recover them as they neared the leeward marks, said NYC Rear Commodore Kevin Arndt.

“The race started with a traffic jam at the start line, forcing Fast Company over early and having to restart,” Arndt said. “The remainder of the eight-boat fleet started on the port tack except for OZone who swept down the start line on starboard tack. Because OZone was the ‘right-of-way boat,’ she wrecked havoc on the fleet and they had to keep clear of the Olson 30.”

The excitement subsided and Bonjolea II took control of the sea, rounding the first windward mark in first place challenged by OZone.

Piloted by Bonnie Tiffany, Bonjolea II slipped across the finish line first on an elapsed sail of 45 minutes, 16 seconds, but corrected to 48:14 PHRF, not enough to overcome OZone who slipped across at 46:59 elapsed sail and corrected to 47:03 PHRF for first-place honors.

Fast Company recovered from its forced restart and crossed on a 50:57 elapsed sail and corrected to 51:01 PHRF for third-place honors.

The remainder of the fleet saw Weatherly (51:48 elapsed, 51:52 PHRF), Papaau (55:21 elapsed, 52:59 PHRF), Speedy (56:07 elapsed, 56:12 PHRF), and Trinity (1:02:01 elapsed, 1:10:35 PHRF) round out the fleet finish.

Coyote corrected to 43:25 Club for first-place honors in that class. She also leads the Club class standings heading into the final race of the series.

The public is invited to view the three-way winner-take-all race with the NYC Race Committee at the jetty wall parking area. First flags fly at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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