An Irish yachtsman whose racing yacht was towed into Otago Harbour with a broken mast is exhausted but says it's "magic" to be on dry land after 60 days at sea alone.
Yachtsman Enda O'Coineen, 60, was competing in the solo round-the-world Vendee Globe race, when his mast broke off the Otago coast on New Year's Day.
His yacht, the Kilcullen Voyager, had been drifting for five days.
Race organisers arranged for a fishing trawler to tow the yachtsman into Otago Harbour late last night, where he received a warm welcome from friends.
After a whiskey or two at the Carey's Bay Hotel, he settled in for a good sleep in a real bed.
Speaking alongside his ill-fated yacht today, he said he could still feel the ground moving.
"It's like after you've had a few pints," he said. "I'm in good shape. I think it's my mind I'm worried about."
But he was relieved to be ashore after his lone voyage.
"It's magic. It's the little things in life we take for granted, the daily things we have, you just cut yourself off from all of that."
He bought the yacht almost on a whim over the phone, while "distressingly sober" at 1am on New Year's Day two years ago, and it was two years later to the day his world came "crashing down".
He said he had been making good progress in the race, until the point when everything went wrong in the space of 10 seconds.
"I had just celebrated, I'd just taped a little video and I was making my New Year's resolution.
"The resolution was that I would take less risks with my life. I've been in business and I've taken risks to be able to afford to buy the boat."
He said he performed two involuntary gybes when he encountered steering problems.
"It's like getting caught with your trousers down, I got caught with no runner on the backstay, and that's fine at 20 knots, but a squall of wind came.
"It was 35 knots and that's gale force. I said 'oh crumbs' and then I just heard it and instantly the whole rig of this 110-foot mast crashed down into the water."
Since then he had been through a whole spectrum of emotions, he said.
"The downers are real down, and the uppers are up."
He wasn't sure whether he would attempt the next Vendee Globe in four years time, but said "never say never".
He said he needed a few days to take stock and review his options, which included selling the boat in its current condition, shipping it back to Europe for repair, or fixing it and completing his round-the-globe journey.
However the new grandfather - whose baby granddaughter was born after he started the race - was in good spirits about his predicament.
"I'm not officially due home, I'm on leave so I can really have a good time here - the missus isn't expecting me back for another month."
He said he had set up the Atlantic Youth Trust in Ireland, modelled on New Zealand's Spirit of Adventure Trust, and hoped to pour his energy into that once home.
The captain of the fishing trawler which towed O'Coineen's boat to harbour, Steve Little, said he encountered four-metre swells on route to assist O'Coineen, but luckily the weather eased off for a calm trip to harbour.
He said it was a delicate mission, as his larger boat, the Lady Dorothy, had to be careful not to nudge the fragile, much smaller yacht.
"We'd only have to touch and we'd do some major damage."
He said it was disappointing to see O'Coineen's race end so abruptly after so much preparation.
"How many chances do you get at the race at 60 years of age?"
An abandoned French yacht from the same race was already berthed in Dunedin. The hull of Thomas Ruyant's yacht Le Souffle du Nord was split when it struck an unidentified floating object of the West Coast in December, and it limped into Bluff.
Enda O'Coineen was representing Team Ireland in the Vendee Globe race, which involves sailing around the world without stopping and without assistance.
The race is billed as the most famous and most arduous in the world, and O'Coineen was the first Irish person to compete in the challenge.
Competitors set sail from - and finish in - the French town of Les Sables d'Olonne after rounding the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, Cape Leeuwin in Southern Australia and the Cape Horn at the tip of South America.