by Al Constable
At the first windward mark, Mark Thornburrow from Hong Kong lead from Steve Gunther with series leader and likely World Champion Peter McNeill’s Tom Pepper XV!!! in third place followed by Noel Nitro Drennan. Julian Plante in tenth place, now a podium contender. Cameron Miles buried at 39th.
McNeil is unbeatable form here, assuming a clean round.
However there are still incomplete protests from previous races and Dennis Conner is unlikely to quit without another visit to the Protest Room, so the young Pittwater crew of Julian Plante does not have the deck hardware yet.