I wasn't there last year but this year seemed really reasonable to me. I was towards the front in the 4:4x:xx area. There were relatively legal pacing lines with 12m spacing and I saw no packs of riders blatantly drafting. As per usual there's always a 'clinger' that will suck a wheel around the 3-8m distance but those are "1 offs" in every race. From my vantage point the race was clean. And importantly the distance was a legit 112 miles unlike the 108-109 distance last year. Glenn Bohannon's group did a great job.
I rode a shade under 5 hours in the female pro field (after an utterly abysmal swim that erased any head start we got), and my husband rode 4:46-we both agreed with this. I had to do some sitting up and soft pedalling at times to drop back as pace lines passed me, but they were legal lines, not groups. I did see a couple of rogue wheelsuckers, but there were only a handful here and there who were pretty blatant. On the southbound trip out, I saw someone latched on get carded shortly after him and his unwitting ride went past me, and there was an official with the group ahead of me for quite some time, which was reassuring. There was a fairly sizable crowd at the first penalty tent, which was good to see, and helped break things up further.
Second lap was a little sketchy at times trying to navigate, especially at aide stations, although I actually felt like people were being better than usual at keeping right-most issues were just with anticipating when someone was going to move over to make a pass in front of me. I was also a little concerned with the pro vs amateur slipstreaming rules-having to move left before entering a draft zone meant that I was spending most of that lap towards the left of the lane, making it harder to get around me, so apologies if I caused anyone problems there. But, overall, after having heard stories of last year, I was expecting the worst, and found things pretty clean. Sure, I had times where I had to put in hard surges to pass a few people at once, and other times where I had to just be patient and slow down to drop back after being passed, but I felt like it was entirely possible to ride legally, and others were respecting that. Kudos to the race organizers for recognizing the problem, and taking steps to adequately address it.