Perpetual Mocean
Perpetual Mocean Coffs Coast Advocate

About time takes overall handicap in ocean race

THE honour of winning the IRC overall handicap in the 2009 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race couldn't have gone to a more aptly named boat.

About Time, Julian Farren-Price's Cookson 12 from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) finally claimed the handicap victory after finishing fourth on handicap in the race in 2007 and second in the series behind Le Billet, so surely it was 'about time' victory came their way.

Farren-Price was more than happy to be awarded the honours in a corrected time of 30 hours, 21 minutes and 48 seconds.

Speaking from the Coffs Harbour marina on Sunday morning, Farren-Price said the overall handicap win was a thrill and the culmination of a lot of planning and hard work.

“We're delighted with the win, we haven't raced Coffs in two years,” he said.

“Our objective was to win this race on handicap and have a good race against our good mate Bill Ebsary and Le Billet.

“The conditions favoured the Cookson better than the Beneteau in this race, so we're absolutely thrilled with the win.

“It was a hard race and one of the toughest and wettest I've been in. With the angle of the wind and the reaching conditions into pretty lumpy seas, there was plenty of water pouring up the side. But the win makes it all worthwhile.”

Farren-Price added that this year's event was one of the most even in many years making the handicap victory even more special.

“It was a very competitive race with a great field from the Marten 49 down to the Bull 9000 so it made the race for handicap honours an open and interesting one,” he said.

“We were all in the same weather so it made for a very fair race.”

Unfortunately for the crew of Pretty Woman, who finished second over the line by a mere three and a half minutes behind Perpetual Mocean on Saturday, they also got the silver medal on handicap with the Hudson/Murphy/Lockley Farr 45 missing out by a little more than seven minutes on corrected time from About Time.

Rounding out the podium was previous handicap winner of this race in 2002 and consistent campaigner, the Staples /King Murray 37 Dark & Stormy Witch, who relished the reaching conditions.

She finished with a corrected time of 30 hours, 33 minutes and 42 seconds and in doing so also took out IRC Division 2 honours.

Moksha, a Hanse 540, the largest and heaviest boat in the fleet skippered by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's Richard Rowe, was awarded victory in the PHS Division.

This was Moksha's first ocean race victory of any distance and the happy crew won the division by just under two hours over the Swan 40, Byzance out of the Balmain Sailing Club skippered by David Saunders with Michael Martin's Sayer 11.9 Frantic representing the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club picking up the bronze.

Having covered a lot of cruising miles since taking ownership in August 2007 and with all the cruising comforts down below, the reaching conditions in reasonable breeze were always going to suit Moksha's waterline length once this heavy boat's momentum got going.

Richard Rowe aboard Moksha was thrilled with the PHS win. “It's a fantastic feeling for us to win and for the seven crew on board, two of whom had never sailed with us before,” Rowe said.

“The reaching conditions, reasonable breeze and lumpy seas suited the big boat.

“We just ploughed through it. We've got a pretty casual racing crew and we just had a good time racing up the coast.”

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Line Honours

1. Perpetual Mocean
2. Pretty Woman
3. Ausmaid

Overall IRC
1. About Time
2. Pretty Woman
3. Dark & Stormy Witch

IRC Division 1

1. About Time
2. Pretty Woman
3. Tidetech Eleven

IRC Division 2

1. Dark & Stormy Witch
2. Preddytor
3. Swish

PHS Overall

1. Moksha
2. Byzance
3. Frantic

PHS Division 1

1. Moksha
2. Frantic
3. More Witchcraft

PHS Division 2

1. Byzance
2. Freya
3. Overdrive

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