A veteran offshore racer, Alex WHITWORTH, is this morning leading the 30th Lord Howe race with his Brolga 33 Berrimilla, just ahead of yesterday's leader Wayne MILLAR'S Zoe.
Berrimilla is still 139 miles from the finish line, 54 miles north north east of the Seamounts and is expected to finish early tomorrow morning.
Berrimilla won this race on PHS back in 1999, after winning the Sydney to Hobart PHS Division B in 1998 and Whitworth is keen to repeat the dose in the IMS division.
However, the weather over the next 12 hours will probably decide the race.
There is only four minutes between the boats on corrected time and Zoe, now fourth overall, is 62 miles west south west of the island with an ETA of 13:24 today.
Weather forecasters are anticipating easing conditions, with the south wester dropping from the 12-15's that the back of the fleet is currently enjoying, down to 5-10's overnight, so the odds have to be on Zoe.
Third in the IMS division is the Young 11 Outsidedge, now blasting towards the island on its best point of sail. As owner, Peter GADDES explained at the race briefing, "This boat grows an extra 10 feet once we can get our asymmetric spinnaker up."
Outsidedge has surfed through the fleet in the last 24 hours and is now sixth overall, 84 miles from the finish line.
In the PHS division, Ben ADAMSON'S Sorine is still holding the lead ahead of Bill KOPPE'S Delta Wing with Wahoo in third place.
Earlier today, Bill KOPPE reported by satellite phone, that conditions were very pleasant this morning. "Brilliant sunshine, 15 knots, long ocean swells, pancakes and maple syrup. This is great sailing."