NAWILIWILI — Despite the untraditional trade winds, Bonjolea II grabbed the wind, early and never looked back during the final race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series.
“The feeling was indescribable,” said Bonjolea II skipper Bonnie Tiffany to OZone owner Chris Jordan. “When we gybed around the Kalapaki Buoy and hardened up towards the lighthouse buoy, she took off like an amazing race horse breaking out of the gate!”
The final race, Race No. 7, was laid out on a short 3.3-mile course to beat the sun setting and the light four- to six-knot winds out of the southwest. These conditions had the entire starting line being used by six of the eight boats with Bonjolea II chipping out a lead by the time the fleet it the G-11 weather mark. The pack of four Olson 30s punctuated by Papa A‘u, an Express 27, followed.
“And, just as Bonnie Tiffany described, Bonjolea II took off like a rocket when they gybed around the Kalapaki Buoy,” Jordan said. “Weatherly was looking great with its teenaged crew and Astrid Andersson on the helm as they were leading the other four Olson 30s. Fast Company and Kato rounded the buoy more tightly than OZone who went wider resulting in OZone having the pole down low and the chute in tight more like a jib in order to get to the lighthouse buoy.
“Similarly, Papa A‘u was having some spinnaker issues that resulted in some unexpected excitement,” the OZone owner said. “About halfway out to the Ninini Lighthouse buoy, Ray Wollard, the Papa A‘u foredeck, lost his balance and went overboard. He was able to catch a guy line on his way overboard and he pulled himself back to the stern of the boat where skipper Andy Evans was able to pull him aboard. Good thing, too as they needed all four of their crew members to take the spinnaker down in addition to the fact that you have to finish the race with the same number of crew who started.”
At the finish line, the “racehorse” Bonjolea II took line honors on an elapsed sail of 36 minutes, 20 seconds — more than six minutes over the next boat Kato who sounded the finish horn at 42:23 elapsed sail. Bonjolea II corrected to 39:06 PHRF for top honors in the race followed by Kato ending at 42:51 PHRF.
Fast Company crossed on a 42:37 elapsed, just three ticks ahead of OZone who stopped the clocks at 42:40 elapsed, and corrected to 42:53 PHRF followed by OZone.
“For the entire Gene Wells Memorial seven-race Series, it was Fast Company taking first place quite handily,” Jordan said. “Congratulations to skipper Jim Saylor and his awesome crew!”
Weatherly crossed with a 43:28 elapsed and corrected to 39:41 Club for top honors in that class. She was followed by Speedy (46:31 elapsed, 40:35 Club), and Papa A‘u (46:26 elapsed, 41:27 Club).
The Halloween Race is the final race of the year for the Nawiliwili Yacht Club, and this will be held Thursday with a 5 p.m. start.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.