The assault on the official, 10-year-old Newport Bermuda race record continued into Saturday night as the big boats in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division— ‘Rambler’, ‘Bella Mente’, ‘Shockwave’ and ‘Team Tiburon’— continue to blast down the course toward Bermuda.
Their ETA of early Sunday morning seems to be holding up.
Open Division boats ‘Indio’ and ‘Med Spirit’ are assaulting their own 8-year-old record. The boats had passed through the Gulf Stream doing about 21kts and continued south of the stream in the high teens through Saturday evening. ‘Med Spirit’, a Welborn 92 skippered by Michael D’Amelio, leads that group in Class 16. ‘Indio’ is a Frers designed Wally 100 owned by Mark Fliegner.
At 5:30pm Bermuda Time Saturday ‘Rambler’ was 195 rhumbline miles from Bermuda sailing straight toward the islands at 14 knots. She was followed by ‘Shockwave’ and ‘Bella Mente’ who were within a mile of each other, some 16 miles back.
Smaller boats may have a tough time with winds as they approach the botom part of the course. Forecasters predict that the strong NE winds in the Gulf Stream will gradually abate south of the Stream, with light air developing south of 35şN for most of the fleet Sunday.