NAWILIWILI — Bonjolea II milked the 14-knot winds blowing out of the northeast to effectively take the opening race of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series at Nawiliwili Harbor.
“Bonjolea II and OZone started on starboard tack close to the pin, but OZone was too early and went head to wind to kill time,” said Chris Jordan, skippering OZone. “Then, they had to fall off down the starting line until the gun went off and Bonjolea II had a better start closer to the pin.”
“At the Ninini Lighthouse Buoy, it was Bonjolea II in the lead followed by OZone, Double Espresso and Speedy,” Jordan said. “Downwind surfing the waves is usually a lot of fun, but OZone was missing three of its crew who could do foredeck work so they didn’t fly their spinnaker. They were not as fast and couldn’t gain any on Bonjolea II.”
With the boats remaining in the same order, Bonjolea II sounded the finish horn with an elapsed time of 48 minutes, 59 seconds as OZone was rounding the G-11 buoy near Coast Guard Kaua‘i. Bonjolea II corrected to 51:56 PHRF to win the opening race of the NYC Gene Wells Memorial Series, followed by OZone picking up a 52:18 elapsed time and correcting to 52:23 PHRF, 27 seconds behind.
“This series is named after longtime NYC member Gene Wells who was a master boat builder. These were all wooden sloops and he built them in his garage in Anahola. Although none of these boats were in this race, they are fondly remembered,” Jordan said.
“Jim Saylor, the recently-retired jeweler, still has the 25-foot ‘Whitecap.’ I always coveted the 26-foot ‘Rebel,’ which I thought had beautiful lines. OZone crew woman SJH Lehoven owned the 35.5-foot cutter rig sloop ‘Mapuana’ for many years.
“Other boats included the 39-foot ‘Sarina,’ the 40-foot ‘Fidelia,’ the 40-foot ‘Reina Moana,’ and a 24-footer renamed ‘Tiare.’ The very experienced offshore sailor Mel Wills owned the 31-foot yawl ‘Malia; and he always seemed to be winning the races in his day.”
The second race of the seven-race Gene Wells Series takes place on Thursday, when the first flags fly at 5 p.m. from the Nawiliwili mole parking area where the race committee sets up and always have time to socialize, except during the countdown series when quiet is necessary.
Source: The Garden Island