NAWILIWILI — OZone, an Olson 30 piloted by Chris Jordan, bumped Papa A‘u, an Express 27, from the leaderboard after winning the eighth race of the 10-race Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series, Thursday in brisk 15 to 20-knot winds blowing out of the northeast.
“After throwing out the two worst race finishes of each boat as noted in the sailing instructions, the total points standings has OZone in the lead with 11 points,” said Jordan, the NYC communicator in addition to being the OZone skipper. “Fast Company, who finished the Thursday race just 18 seconds off the pace, holds 13 points, and Papa A‘u drops to third place with 15 points. With two more races remaining on the docket, any of them could win. Kato, another Olson 30, would be right in the mix, but they missed two of the races.”
Spanning two laps over 5.12 miles, OZone was happy with its start on the pin end, and Papa A‘u coming up on a tack closer to the NYC Race Committee perched atop the sea wall and bent on completing the race following a delay by the departure of a fuel boat in Nawiliwili Harbor.
“Fast Company was a little late at the start, and it appeared they had to tack early towards the breakwater to get out of the other boats’ bad air,” Jordan said. “OZone and Papa A‘u tacked to the breakwater to cover Fast Company while Bonjolea II stayed on a lower course to be first round the Kalapaki buoy to starboard, followed by OZone, Fast Company, and Papa A‘u.”
Bonjolea II relished in what spectators describe as “the Bonjolea wind,” and continued to lead until midway through the second lap when it “ripped the clew out of their spinnaker which slowed them down more than a minute, 17 seconds and cost them first place.”
She was not alone with wind woes.
“OZone had their spinnaker wrap into an hourglass shape when they hoisted it on the downwind run,” Jordan said. “But thanks to Thor Temme’s quick thinking to drop the halyard a few feet, they were able to get it untwisted quickly.
The battle between Fast Company and OZone continued through the entire race with Fast Company threatening on each leg.
“Following the rounding of the G-11 buoy for the final upwind leg, Fast Company tacked early to cover Kato, and an attempt at a maneuver that might have caught OZone,” Jordan said. “But, after five previous second place finishes in the series, OZone finally found a first place finish after sounding the finish horn on an elapsed sail of 54:40, followed 18 seconds back by Fast Company.”
Following the corrections, OZone was confirmed the winner on a 55:00 PHRF time, followed by Fast Company at 55:18 PHRF.
Bonjolea II, after dealing with its torn spinnaker, hobbled across the finish line first overall on an elapsed sail of 52:49, but following the corrections, settled in fourth place on a 55:17 PHRF.
Bonjolea II also settled for second place in the Club class following its 52:01 Club correction below Papa A‘u who claimed first in the Club class with its 56:40 Club correction.
The ninth race of the Gene Wells Memorial Series takes place, Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor.