Stronger Trades felt at Race 3 of the Gene Wells Memorial Series
Winds were brisk, at an estimated 15-20 knots, with higher gusts as six boats came to race in tonight’s 3rd race in the Gene Wells Memorial Series. The overall course was two laps of the “A” Course, which had to be used, due to the missing #2 buoy just off Kalapaki Beach. The higher wind speed put a premium on precise sail handling. The largest of the boats was Bonjolea II, at 36 feet; the others were all Olson 30s. Bonjolea II jumped out to an early boat-for-boat lead (to be expected, as size matters in displacement boats). Kato kept the lead distance down to a manageable level, followed closely (or sometimes loosely) by Ozone and Fast Company.
Weatherly and Speedy had their own duel going, with Weatherly attempting to avoid mistakes with the spinnaker by setting it late, and taking it down well before reaching the downwind mark which had to be rounded. Speedy had repeated headsail handling problems, culminating in a fouled jib. The crew struggled to clear the jib, but it took a relatively long time to clear up the issue, and begin sailing under normal power with two sails. In the end, Speedy was never able to make up the deficit, and finished behind Weatherly.
Among the leaders, Bonjolea II kept the lead until the final upwind leg of the race. Kato, which had been dogging the heels of Bonjolea II, sailed a tight, innovative course, which allowed her to slide across the finish line seconds before Bonjolea II. Fast Company finished second and Ozone rounded out the third of the PHRF finishers. In club results, Weatherly finished first, Bonjolea II second, and Speedy third.
Gene Wells Memorial Series Race #4 takes place next Thursday, September 28, at 5:00 pm.