OZone sails in the wind

NAWILIWILI — Wind in the 15 to 20-knot range Thursday afternoon can be good — and it can be bad.

Described as a “Bonjolea II wind,” the Sydney 36, skippered by Bonnie Tiffany, had her hands full with the winds that teased its jib during the spinnaker exchange and pulled her out of the running at the Nawiliwili Harbor.

“While some mainland sailors might have found the 15-20 knot winds too strong, not so the six intrepid boats that came out ready to race,” said William Georgi of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Race Committee. “The start was clean, but the competition was fierce from the start, most of the racers selecting a starboard tack. But the Fast Company tactician chose a port tack for an early advantage.”

A penalty near the Kalapaki can saw OZone fall out of the pack with a pair of 360-degree turns, and Bonjolea II commanded the lead under full spinnaker coming in from the first of three legs in the 6.03-mile course.

Eyes turned to the fleet of Kato, Fast Company and OZone coming in from the Ninini Point turnaround while Bonjolea II ran into trouble with its jib on the leeward can, forcing her out of traffic.

That maneuver to resume the race gave the green light to Kato, Fast Company and OZone to battle for the lead followed by Papa a‘u with skipper Marcie Millet getting a good crowd of supporters on the mole, and Weatherly, packed to the brim with 11 students and supervised by the new NYC Zodiac chase boat.

“In addition to an all-teen crew, Weatherly reached out to two foreign exchange students who were aboard as part of the crew,” Georgi said. “One, Finn Haake from Bavaria, Germany, has extensive sailing experience, and we look forward to watching the students on Weatherly in the future.”

OZone made do with the wind-driven excitement, sounding the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 29 seconds, correcting to 1:08:35 PHRF for top honors in the second race of the NYC Wahine Series — less than a minute ahead of Kato (1:09:00 elapsed, 1:09:06 PHRF). Fast Company rounded out the trio of Olson 30 finishers on a 1:09:10 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:09:16 PHRF.

Bonjolea II filled in the No. 4 spot on a 1:08:31 elapsed sail — first overall to finish, but not enough to overcome its PHRF ranking, correcting to 1:13:01 PHRF. Weatherly followed at 1:17:16 elapsed sail and corrected to 1:17:23 PHRF. Papa a‘u missed sailing around the leeward can on one of the race legs and was disqualified.

Bonjolea II might have missed the PHRF ratings, but corrected to 1:10:15 Club for top honors in that class, a mere five ticks ahead of Weatherly (1:10:20 Club).

The third race of the NYC Wahine Series where the skipper needs to be a female takes place Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.

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