As the wind blows

NAWILIWILI — The wind can work for you, and the wind can work against you. The winds Thursday, blowing in from the northeast in the 5 to 10 knot range, created situations which played heavily in the final results of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Horse and Pony Series, Race No. 2 at Nawiliwili Harbor.

Papa a‘u, an Express 27, wanted to capitalize on the wind and stayed clear of the fleet at the start line, zooming in from portside for a shorter distance to the Kalapaki buoy. But OZone, tight in the pack with Kato and Bonjolea II, took the opening turn first and headed to the Ninini Point turnaround with Bonjolea II, winner of the first race, in hot pursuit.

The downwind run had spinnakers blossoming across the bay, Bonjolea II’s clearly in the lead with OZone challenging ahead of the pack which included Trinity, an F28 trimaran, Kato and Fast Company.

“The gusty trade winds made controlling the boats who were flying their spinnakers a challenge,” said NYC Rear Commodore Kevin Arndt, who was monitoring the tracking at the NYC Race Committee station on the mole. “Some boats were on the verge of rounding up.”

Bonjolea II continued to hold off OZone at the stretch leading to the leeward mark. Kato followed with Fast Company poised to pounce on any opportunity. That window happened when Kato’s spinnaker developed an hour glass, and while her crew scrambled to correct the mishap, Fast Company slipped past with her crew scrambling to keep control of its spinnaker.

Ahead, another mishap.

“As they were dousing the spinnaker at the leeward mark, Bonjolea II wrapped its jib on the forestay,” Arndt said. “By the time Bonjolea II had everything squared away, she was at the back of the fast-moving fleet.”

OZone held off any challenges through the remaining Horse race, sounding the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 39 minutes, 17 seconds, less than a minute ahead of Fast Company (39:58 elapsed). OZone corrected to 39:21 PHRF to claim top honors in the Horse race, followed closely by Fast Comany (40:02 PHRF).

Bonjolea II, finishing fourth in the Horse race (42:53 elapsed, 45:42 PHRF), saw Doug Moore make up for that showing by piloting the Topper, a single-handed 11-footer, to a first place showing ahead of Jim Saylor, the Fast Company skipper, and Ed Tschupp from Papa a‘u. OZone’s Pony crossed the finish line in sixth place.

The combined races saw Fast Company claim the victory with four points, three points ahead of OZone and Papa a‘u, both boats finishing with a combined seven points — a point ahead of Bonjolea II.

The results of the second race in the Horse and Pony Series pushes Fast Company into the standings lead with 10 points, just a point ahead of Bonjolea II who holds second place. Papa a‘u is in third place with 13 points, just a point ahead of OZone who holds 14 points with two remaining races in the series.

Speedy holds the lead in the Club class with 16 points followed by Weatherly at 17 points, and Trinity at 19 points.

The third race of the NYC Horse and Pony series takes place Thursday with the first flags flying at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

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