Friday, 7 January 2011

'About Time' & 'The Real Thing' take out the 30th Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Series

'About Time' wins the 30th Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Offshore Series for the second time in three years. Image copyright Damian Devine.

by Damian Devine

With the series now complete, the 30th Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Offshore Series is over for another year with Julian Farren-Price's Cookson 12 'About Time' rom the CYCA, the boat built for Coffs Harbour, has emulated what he achieved in 2009, picking up the double winning both the coveted IRC 226nm Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race and overall series crowns for the second time in three years.

With three wins and a second in the four race series, Farren-Price ended won the title comfortably with a scorecard showing 4.5 points from John Bacon's Sydney 39CR 'Hussy' on 9 points with Bob Steel's TP52 'Quest' in a close third on 9.5 points, after a well fought series battle over the past five days of racing.

Leading into today's final race, 'About Time', led by 2.5 points over 'Hussy' and a four point lead over 'Quest' but his win today in the 19.2nm South Solitary Island Race cemented his win for the series. Farren- Price also finished third in the series event last year proving 'About Time' has been the most consistent boat in recent years.

With a near perfect scorecard it was a sweet victory for Farren- Price who was elated with his second double crown."It's a dream come true to do this again particularly in the 30th year and also to win this with the same guys who did it with me last time and have been sailing with me for years, is a great feeling."

"Everyone, as a team, has gelled very well and we know the boat very well. There is benefits for owning a boat for a long time because you get to know its intricacies and how to handle it, after 10 years!. We’re absolutely delighted."

The boats built for Coffs Harbour seemingly, Farren-Price said,"Well you know I think the boat might know its own way here, it talks to us, whispers to us about what we should be doing. The conditions were certainly very good for us with lots of downwind reaching which is what we like, it's a Bruce Farr designed boat so it likes those conditions and we're very happy. We were beating Farr 40s all the time and that just shouldn't happen so the boat was going very fast. It was pleasing to see."

Will he back next year to defend the crown, "Well, I'll have to speak to my wife about that," he laughs. "I've been put on notice but I've got a year to twist her arm."

As for the Pittwater to Coffs Race and Series crown trophies he receives, Farren-Pirce stole a line from one of Australia's favourite movies, "they're going straight to the pool room."

Bob Steel’s ’Quest’ were a gallant third in the series overall and provided some spectacular sailing. Image copyright Damian Devine.

Bob Steel 'Quest, who finished third overall said, "We've had a lot of fun in Coffs Harbour and really enjoyed the series, the racing has been good."

Going into today's final race, Garry Holder's ID35 'The Real Thing' was sitting in second place in the overall PHS series, a half point behind John McConaghy's Custom 47 'Second Time Around' and a point ahead of last year's series winner Rob Alder's J35 'Jayhawk', in an extremely close battle. It was clear and simple, whoever won today's race out of the trio would determine the PHS winner.

With the two 35 footers 'The Real Thing' and Rob Alder's J35 'Jayhawk', getting off to flyers it was game on.'Second Time Around' was hot on their heels. In the end whilst they didn't win, 'The Real Thing', ended up finishing only two minutes behind 'Second Time Around' on elapsed time but with their handicap adjustment ended up in front to take second place by just over a minute from 'Second Time Around' in third with 'Jayhawk' a further minute back on corected time in fourth. Russell Waddy's Beneteau 47.7 'Kioni' won today's race on handicap to take his first win for the series.

Garry Holder’s ID35 ’The Real Thing’ picked up his first PHS series win. Image copyright Damian Devine.

So with the points calculator out, the results threw up 'The Real Thing' taking the title by a mere half point on 7.5 from 'Second Time Around' in second on 8 points and 'Jayhawk' in third on 10.5 points.

Owner/ Skipper Garry Holder, who took the 35 footer out of the water by crane after the race and straight onto a trailer to drive home down the Pacific Highway rather than sail, commented after today's racing, "This is really good, this is my first series win and I'm really pleased. It all came down to today's race and we knew it would be a real challenge particularly in the murky conditions. It was an interesting race and we just kept the pressure on."

"We've had a good competition with "Macca" and 'Second Time Around' and 'Jayhawk' over the series , it's been really close, so it feels good. We were pretty surprised we kept up with everyone particularly the 40 footers, so given our size we are very happy. I must give thanks to my RPAYC crew of Allen Stormon, Rear Commodore Yacht Racing at the Alfreds', our navigator Frank Walker, Ron Palmer who has been sailing with me for years, Tim Byford our bowman, my daughter Leslie, Steve Roberts and Steve Howe. They were all great plus I had a lot of support from my wife Debbie.

John Bacon’s ’Hussy’ finished second in IRC in the Pittwater & Coffs Offshore Series. Image copyright Damian Devine.

With consistent results across the four races with a 2-3-1-3 finish, Holder concluded with, " Its just goes to prove you've got to be consistent to win this series.

So with the 30th series now over and the prize giving at the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club tonight, everyone is looking forward to next year. Russell Murphy, Commodore of The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club had the final word summing up his thoughts on the 30th Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Offshore series this way, "It's been a great series, we have had all types of conditions, the competitors and their families have all had a good time and we’ve had excellent racing. We look forward to next year to come back to Coffs to continue the tradition of this fabulous event."

“My thanks to the the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club, the Coffs Harbour Marina, the army of volunteers involved and everone who has made this a great event."

Pittwater to Coffs Race