Andrew COCHRANE's Stewart 34 Pendragon has led the IRC fleet since this morning and is still at the top of the leaderboard ahead of a newcomer to the top three, Anthony PATERSON's Mumm 30 Tow Truck which has made massive gains since yesterday when they were sitting in 22nd place on handicap.
'All the boys are happy with our performance so far but we are just getting on with it,' said COCHRANE a short time ago as they were sailing north of Evans Head with 70 nautical miles to go to the finish.
'The sou'easter has filled in here and further up the coast and we don't expect it to 'glass out' but you never know,' he added, referring to last year's race when a light patch close to the finish left them stranded and cost them an overall win by just over half an hour.
Andrew SHORT's Farr 40 Club Marine (ASM) has featured strongly in the top three all day and is provisionally sitting in third position on IRC handicap.
In the PHS division, placings have not changed since this morning with Gunnar TUISK's Cadenza still leading Dreamtime and Azzurro.
Following a line honours win by Bob OATLEY's Wild Oats X, at 0956 this morning and a second over the line for Steven DAVID's Wild Joe, the battle for third place between Queensland boat Vanguard, George SNOW's Brindabella and Sean LANGMAN's AAPT was nothing short of titanic with all three finishing within seven minutes of each other and AAPT pipping Vanguard by just two minutes after two days at sea.
In the end, it was the private battle between Brindabella and Vanguard that began last night which cost both of them a chance at third place. While these two boats tried to pass each other further off Main Beach on the Queensland Gold Coast, LANGMAN managed to sneak up the beach and enjoy a clear run to the finish.
'About 150 metres from the finish we tried to sail around Brindabella and ended up too high to make the finish line ahead of AAPT,' said CAWSE.
'We worked so hard and we thought we had it but we are not unhappy with fourth. All five pre-race line honours favourites finished in the top five places which is a great result'.