As Ingles Sydney Gold Coast Race leader Konica Minolta streaks towards the finish line she is due to cross late this afternoon, thoughts should be spared for the three boats yet to reach the half way mark of this annual 384 nautical mile race.
David KENT'S Gillawa from the ACT, Chris DAWE'S Polaris of Belmont, which is lining up for its 20th Rolex Sydney Hobart Race in December, and Mark Davies' Lucifarr are approaching the half way point of this tough ocean race with a finish date of August 5 based on computer predictions.
Later today, however, they should start to feel the impact of the forecast strong nor'west breeze that has already hit Stewart Thwaites and his crew on Konica Minolta.
"We are enjoying a 20-knot nor'wester and now we've rounded Cape Byron we hope to increase speed because we'll be out of the influence of the southerly current,"
said Ludde INGVALL, who has joined Thwaites while his new maxi is being built for this year's 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
"This is the most breeze we've had the whole race,"
With 25 miles back to the second placed Brindabella (George Snow) and another 20 back to Sean Langman's third-placed AAPT, it is going to be another quite affair at Southport Yacht Club this evening although by tomorrow night, many of the crews will be enjoying the Queensland hospitality.
This afternoon's handicap results reveal a new IRC handicap leader, Andrew Cochrane's Pendragon, and a new PHS leader, John CAMERON's More Witchcraft.