About Time wins IRC handicap crown
ABOUT Time has proven to be the jewel in the crown winning the coveted IRC handicap crown in the 30th anniversary Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.
It’s about time the Cookson 12 did it again following victory in 2009 and third place last year.
Skipper Julian Farren-Price was always going to be there or there abouts in this race proving he has been the model of consistency in recent Coffs races.
He won ahead of John Bacon’s Sydney 39CR Hussy, another pre-race handicap favourite, which was unlucky not to take home the bacon this year, falling short by just under 15 minutes over the 225 nautical mile course. Bacon will pick up a deserved division two win for his boat and crew’s hard work.
Bacon also delivered on another level in this race, donating his beautiful motor vessel, the Matthew Flinders, as the radio relay vessel for the race. Two vessels in the one race, now that’s commitment and a tribute to his generosity.
The Hunter region delivered up the final place on the podium with the Beneteau First 40 Close Halled, owned and skippered by Graeme Hall hailing from the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, a fraction less than eight minutes behind Hussy.
The defending IRC champion, Bruce Staples, in his relatively new Farr 40 ‘Witchcraft’ was just over another minute back in fourth spot.
This will be a pleasing result for Staples who said he just wanted to be the First Farr 40 home and “would take it from there”.
And take it from there he nearly did being on the IRC leaderboard constantly throughout the race.
He and the crew sailed out of their skin to punch above their IRC rating in a race not necessarily ideally suited to a Farr 40.
Having won the title last year in his Murray 37 Custom and the running conditions offered in this race, it can only be a case of what might have been had Dark & Stormy Witch been on the race track this year.
It may have just been back to back wins.
But as the song goes, “that was then and this is now” and congratulations must go to Farren-Price and his crew for a marvellous effort.