Dawn arrival was About Time for line honours
AS the sun was rising over Coffs Harbour, About Time sailed into Jetty Harbour to claim line honours in the Pantaenius Newport to Coffs Coast yacht race.
It was a battle for the Julian Farren price owned and skippered Cookson 50 as she was locked in a battle with Shakti who surprisingly led the way up the east coast for most of the race.
The fact that About Time was in fifth position for line honours 24 hours before finishing was their own fault according to Farren-Price.
"Typical Coffs (race) theory is that you always hug the bricks and we missed doing that to our great regret, the boats that went inside did much better," Farren-Price said.
"We were a long way behind, very disappointing on the first night. So the name of the game was for us after that was just to try and get line honours, that was the only thing we could salvage and the boys just never let go.
"They just kept the boat humming and slowly we ticked them off an eventually I think just after Smoky (Cape) we got Shakti. We were happy about that so we pulled a win out somehow."
About Time passed the finish line in a time of almost 40 hours and 40 minutes.
The Doug Coulter-skippered Shakti came in 15 minutes later with a similar margin to Anger Management which is the likely winner of handicap honours for the race.
Coulter said the constant northerly wind made it a challenging run to Coffs Harbour but hugging the coast was a tactic that paid dividends for him.
"We went backwards and forwards from Seal Rocks for about three or four hours and then we came to shore looking for a bit of a land breeze and that left a couple of the other guys out wide and they played for that but we got a nice little land breeze up the coast," Coulter said.
"Anger Management followed us in and they've done pretty well too."
While the crew of About Time were weary, there won't be much time for either rest or celebration.
Farren-Price said it will be back on board during the afternoon and headed back home for the new year.
"We had the northerly all the way up so we might as well get going this afternoon and try and have it all the way back too," he joked.
The winning skipper said he's more than likely to try and defend the crown next year with him full of praise for the return to the traditional December 27 start date.
"Our plan is hopefully to do the Hamilton Island race week but I would potentially come back to Coffs," he said.
"I like the fact that Coffs is on the 27th, I always have. It gives you the opportunity to get back for new Years Eve or alternatively you can ask family up here if you want to spend New Years Eve up here.
"It's always something that's on my agenda. I don't do it every year but I do it more often than not."