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Bonjolea shines in light air

NAWILIWILI — The winds blowing between 9 and 12 knots out of the northeast were not the typical “Bonjolea winds” Thursday during the running of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Gene Wells Memorial Series, Race No. 2.

That did not matter to Bonnie Tiffany, Bonjolea II’s skipper, as she piloted the Sydney 36 to victory over the nine-boat fleet. The victory was especially sweet because it represented triumph over weeks of issues that saw the gold elude the crew, the most recent being the Sydney 36 going aground last week.

“The start of this second race of the Wells Memorial Series was exciting as the nine sailboats jockeyed for position,” said Chris Jordan, the OZone skipper and NYC communicator. “OZone, Papa A‘u, and Kato crossed the line clean at the starting flag. Papa A‘u forced Bonjolea II over early so the Sydney 36 had to circle around and restart behind the fleet in bad air. This didn’t appear to slow skipper Bonnie as she gained on every leg of the three laps over the 6.12-mile course.”

Jordan said usually this boat does better in heavier air, but ended up passing all the other boats in the lighter air.

“Perhaps, it was Doug Tiffany, Bonnie’s husband, on the mainsail that made the difference,” Jordan said. “They do make a great team. At the finish line, Bonjolea II was doing a horizon job on the fleet, finishing nearly six minutes ahead of the next boat on an elapsed sail of 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 1 second. Taking into consideration the handicap system, Bonjolea II was awared first in the PHRF class on a corrected time of 1:13:33 with OZone (1:14:57 elapsed sail) getting second at 1:15:25 PHRF.”

OZone jumped ahead of the five other Olson 30s in the race.

“It wasn’t easy,” Jordan said. “When they gybed the spinnaker at the Kalapaki buoy, it went inside the headstay, messing things up. In the process of correcting the problem, OZone’s guest foredeck Ted Thompson of California broke his braces on the boat, allowing Kato and Fast Company to close dramatically.”

Kato and Fast Company traded places throughout the race, but when Fast Company, with Dr. Bill Evslin at the stick, had halyard issues, it allowed Kato to pass them.

“Jim Saylor, the traditional Fast Company skipper, was on the mainland,” Jordan said. “To protect himself from another concussion, Bill wore Jim’s crash helmet, and at a distance, looked almost like a much quieter version of Jim.”

The action on the water resulted in a tie for third place between Papa A‘u and Kato, each boat posting times of 1:17:33 PHRF for 3.5 points apiece.

“This made the OZone crew very happy because they now lead Kato in the series by half a point,” Jordan said. “But there are eight more races remaining in the series.”

Weatherly (1:21:05 elapsed, 1:21:35 PHRF) corrected to 1:14:26 Club for top honors in that class followed by Fast Company (1:18:00 elapsed, 1:18:29 PHRF, 1:16:56 Club), and Double Espresso, with Carl Andersson returning to the water, in third.

The third race in the Wells Memorial Series takes place, Thursday when the NYC Race Committee hoists the first flags from 5 p.m. at the Nawiliwili Harbor mole parking area.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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