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LINE HONOURS WINNER IN STRATHFIELD PITTWATER TO COFFS

by Georgie Browne on 4 Jan 2001
Xena has taken out line honours in the 20th annual Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race. The big
Open 60 led the 226nm race from Pittwater in the 25-30kn north easterly winds which have
seen 25 of the 104 fleet retire.

Xena crossed the line at Coffs Harbour at 21hrs.26min.24sec to receive the traditional greeting
of beer and bananas from the Deputy Mayor Jan Straum and the Coffs Harbour Town Crier. A
large crowd was on the wharf to greet her.

Skipper Sean Langman said, 'This was one of the only races I ever done, when I did not have
to put up a spinnaker. In fact, we nearly did the race without a sail change at all. The winds
dropped as we were coming towards Coffs, and it was only we had to make a change.'

Xena also suffered minor steering problems when a shackle and cable parted, but this was soon
fixed by Genevieve White, one of the four girls on board.

Langman was happy with the boats performance after an unscheduled retirement from the
Sydney to Hobart Race. A torn mainsail resulted in minor rig damage which was repaired prior
to his entry in the Coffs Race.

'The boat is reputed to be a downwind flyer, but it also goes like a cut snake upwind,' he said.

Winds of up to 30 knots and 3 metre waves have seen over 20 boats retire from the race since
the start.

Fatigue, sea sickness and an uncomfortable sea have taken their toll on many competitors.

Langman said, 'The boat thumped and crashed through the night, but after the Hobart we
strengthened the bow, so we weren't concerned.'

A battle for second place is taking place between Heaven Can Wait (Warren Johns),
Marchioness (Michael Cranitch) and last year's line honours winner Infinity III (Martin James).
The three boats are expected into Coffs Harbour at approximately 1.00am on Thursday,
December 4

They are expected to be followed by Aspect Computing, Wild Thing and Future Shock with
the bulk of the fleet expected into Coffs Harbour between 6.00am and 9.00am

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