by Ian Grant
She had maintained a 12 n/ml lead over Bill Wild’s Wedgetail while Kevin Miller’s Quest of Queensland was another eight nautical miles astern as all three yachts sailed on the faster down wind angles in a moderate south east breeze between the Bunker Island group and Bustard Head.
All three yachts have dominated the major places since the race favourite and race record holder Skandia was forced out with an electronic canting keel control malfunction on Friday night.
Heaven Can Wait had entered her thirtieth hour at sea and still faced at least another four hours of light wind sailing to reach the finish off Auckland Point later tonight.
Race officials expected the Hugh Welbourne designed red sloop Heaven Can Wait to take line honours before 11 pm with Wedgetail continuing to control the match race for second place while the expected strong wind warning forecast will play a major role on deciding the overall race winner on corrected handicap.
While the race has been sailed in relatively light winds the battle for the 58 year old The Courier-Mail Cup remained a very open contest tonight.
Sydney-Hobart race winner Michael Spies helming Sirromet Life Style Wines had sailed into contention to join the Mooloolaba sloop Corum (Michael Balkin) has the stronger chances to log the fastest corrected time.
But their results will almost certainly be challenged by other yachts including the 41 year old Gladstone sloop Wistari which was in the position to capitalise on a fast blow home finish when the strong 30 knot south east breeze blows over the course before dawn tomorrow.