NYC wahine grapple for lead

Dennis Fujimoto

The Garden Island

With one race remaining in the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Wahine Series, a three-way bottleneck for the lead developed after OZone, skippered by Alison Fornari, captured its first top honor Thursday after three weeks of racing.

OZone, finishing fourth in the first race of the series, climbed to second place in the second race before nailing top honors in the third race Thursday in northeast varying winds that blew in from 5 to 20 knots over the 5.80-mile three-leg course.

“The race started with blustery conditions with boats heeling over and putting their lee sails in the waves,” said NYC Rear Commodore Kevin Arndt. “The exciting race to the lighthouse buoy had several boats sink their bows into green water as the wind chop was confused and steep.”

Bonjolea II, with Bonnie Tiffany at the wheel, rounded the out buoy first, challenged by OZone.

“A rain squall brought even more wind when it hit the fleet of seven boats making their way back into the harbor,” Arndt said. “Then, it was back out to the lighthouse for more abuse.”

Bonjolea II and OZone kept ahead of the fluky wind and maintained their lead over the fleet, Bonjolea II sounding the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 7 minutes, 44 seconds and corrected to 1:12:10 PHRF. The adjustment was not enough to maintain the lead of the Sydney 36 when OZone sounded the horn on a 1:11:13 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:11:19 PHRF for the lead spot.

Fast Company, with Tess Moeller at the stick, controlled theoverall third spot, crossing on a 1:25:20 elapsed sail, and correcting to 1:25:27 PHRF to slide to fourth place after Papa a‘u, skippered by Marcie Millett, crossed on a 1:27:03 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:23:19 PHRF for the third spot.

Papa a‘u’s crossing was just seven ticks ahead of Speedy (1:27:10 elapsed) who corrected to 1:27:18 PHRF and fifth place.

Coyote (21:33:54 elapsed, 1:27:56 PHRF) and Weatherly (1:31:04 elapsed, 1:31:12 PHRF) rounded out the fleet showing.

The OZone victory squeezes three boats into the lead at seven points apiece heading into the final race Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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