NAWILIWILI — Bonjolea II loved the 10 to 15-knot winds that blanketed Nawiliwili Harbor, Thursday afternoon during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Rum Series, Race No. 5.
“This wind that blanketed the 4.8-mile course is a little more southerly than our usual easterly trade winds,” said Chris Jordan, the NYC communications director, and the skipper of OZone. “The Race Committee wisely chose two laps on the ‘A’ course out to the Ninini Lighthouse buoy and back to the green No. 11 buoy. This path avoided the dredging machines that blocked the No. 7 and No. 9 buoys.”
Bonjolea II relished the winds, punching out a good lead coming in from the first leg, and staying ahead of the battle for second and third places being waged between Fast Company and Kato.
But the lead was not great enough to overcome the handicap, giving the race to Fast Company who picked up its fifth first place win in the series on the occasion of Cinco de Mayo.
Bonjolea II, with Bonnie Tiffany at the wheel, sounded the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 55 minutes, 35 seconds and corrected to 59:14 PHRF for fourth place honors. On her tail, Jim Saylor held off the Kato challenge to cross at 56:27 elapsed sail and corrected to 56:48 PHRF for his fifth first place, Kato crossing on a 57:24 elapsed sail and correcting to 58:01 PHRF.
From that point, the race got interesting.
“OZone’s skipper set up the pole on the wrong side for the run back in from the lighthouse, causing them to fall behind,” Jordan said. “Additionally, their jib pulled out of the track and their sheets got tangled with the spinnaker lines, slowing them even more and allowing Papa A‘u to pass them.”
Papa A‘u finished third on a 1:00.28 elapsed sail, and corrected to 58:08 PHRF — less than seven seconds back of Kato.
“Papa A‘u had its own issues when their spinnaker halyard got away and skyed,” Jordan said. “A crew scampered up the mast to retrieve it, but in the process, he sustained a gash in his right knee area that was deep and impressive enough that it would need stitches.”
OZone (1:01:15 elapsed, 1:01:38 PHRF), Speedy (1:06:24 elapsed, 1:06:49 PHRF), and Weatherly (1:09:41 elapsed, 1:10:07 PHRF) rounded out the fleet.
Bonjolea II settled for top honors in the Club class after correcting to 54:44 Club followed by Speedy (58:38 Club) and OZone (59:25 Club).
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, that historically celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over a much larger French force at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, Bonjolea II served up a Cinco de Mayo dinner with green chicken enchiladas, black bean and cheese red enchiladas, Spanish rice, salad, chips, and dessert.
The sixth race of the NYC Rum Series takes place Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.