Not only is it almost inevitable the FKP Limited Sydney to Mooloolaba Race record of 44 hours 1 minute and 43 seconds will be smashed, but up to 17 of the 42 boats still racing could cross the finish line within record time.
At this evening's first position report or 'sked', the two front-runners, Sean Langman's Grundig and George Snow's Brindabella were neck and neck with Grundig further out to sea. Both are enjoying a wild ride north in a 25-30 knot southerly, and consistently hitting boat speeds of 20 knots.
If the forecast following winds stay in, both yachts could finish around 8.00pm tomorrow evening, April 10, slicing an amazing 13 hours off the race record set in 1994 by Brindabella.
Matt Allen's Farr 52 Ichi Ban has slipped into third position on line honours some four miles behind the race leaders and ahead of the bigger 60-footers Magnavox 2UE (Peter Sorensen) and Merit (Ian Treleaven).
Two 30-footers, Lake Macquarie boat Tow Tuck (Anthony Paterson) and The Cone of Silence (James Neill), are the best placed small boats and are both expected to finish before 9.00am Friday, the cut off for the existing race record.
While early days in the handicap stakes, Ichi Ban led both IMS and IRC Division at the sked report with Scot Wheelhouse's Sea Jay the overall PHS leader.
The fresh winds and swell are making conditions tricky for the crews with David Pescud reporting a bumpy spinnaker ride on the Lyons 52 Aspect that "had everyone holding on tight".
The Bureau's forecast is for the southerlies to remain strong for the duration of the race and a gale warning is current.
At this evening's sked, Komatsu St Malo (Graham Costello) official retired with steering damage while Ray Wallace's Broomstick reported they had sustained gear damage and are considering retiring.