Ffree Fire held a lead of about three miles last night after almost 80 miles of the San Fernando Race. The 37-boat fleet left Clearwater Bay at noon yesterday and the Nelson Maerk 68 Ffree Fire took advantage of the strong winds to pull away from the chasing Moon Blue and Intrigue. Pete Churchhouse, who is aboard Moon Blue, said winds blew up to 24 knots last night, but doubted if Sam Chan's Ffree Fire would be able to break the eight-year-old race record of two days, two hours and two minutes. 'Ffree Fire has taken the lead, but at the moment the wind is east and it really needs to swing 60 or 70 degrees north for there to be any chance of breaking the record,' said Churchhouse last night. Earlier in the evening, he said that French catamaran Pesket An Eol, an Outremer design skippered by Marc Cudennec, was nowhere in sight. Cudennec was also expected to make an assault on the record.