NAWILIWILI — With one race remaining on Thursday, Bonjolea II broke a three-way bottleneck for standings lead in the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Short Series by winning the Race No. 3 that spanned 3.22 miles under winds of 8 to 10 knots blowing out of the northeast.
The Bonjolea II win did not cap the series because a controversial No. 2 and No. 3 finish between OZone and Weatherly keeps the challenge alive, heading to Thursday. OZone was one of the three-way tie leaders entering Race No. 3.
Bonjolea II, with Bonnie Tiffany behind the big wheel, stayed back of the clean start where Fast Company, with Kevin Millett steering in place of Jim Saylor, had the advantage through the first of three roundings of the Kalapaki buoy.
Coming off the first rounding, Bonjolea II sling shot-ed to the front of the six-boat pack and maintained its distance, staying out of trouble before taking line honors on an elapsed time of 39 minutes, 47 seconds, and correcting to 41:59 PHRF for overall race honors.
Weatherly and OZone, after see-sawing leads throughout two laps, got into trouble for the No. 2 and No. 3 finishes.
“OZone had a good downwind run, and they were now on Weatherly’s stern as Bonjolea II took line honors and first place in the PHRF class,” said Chris Jordan aboard OZone. “OZone realized that they would never catch Weatherly by following them and being in their bad air so they tacked away early towards the breakwater. OZone tacked back onto starboard in an attempt to closed out Weatherly at the R-6 buoy near the finish line.”
“Weatherly tacked onto starboard just below OZone’s line, and OZone thought that Weatherly’s job would hit the buoy resulting in a penalty,” Jordan said. “But the crew got the jib in okay at the last minute. However, the boat itself hit the buoy at its widest part amidship on its port side. OZone could be hear yelling, ‘Do your penalty turn for hitting the buoy!’”
The NYC Race Committee was apparently unaware of the hitting of the buoy and sounded the finish horn for Weatherly on a 43:15 elapsed time as the craft piloted by Nate Sullivan corrected to 43:19 PHRF.
“However, Weatherly did do a penalty turn and its crossing came about 22 seconds behind OZone,” Jordan said. “So, second and third place are in contention.”
OZone filed a protest to clarify the situation with a Honolulu protest committee jury expected to return its findings prior to the start of Thursday’s race.
Fast Company took top honors in the Club Class followed by Papa A‘u in second place.
The final race of the Short Series takes place Thursday when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor jetty parking area.
Source: The Garden Island