Record turn out
In addition to these DNS yachts, two boats have withdrawn in the early going. Kiva, a double-handed entry from New Hampshire, withdrew because of mechanical problems and is returning to Newport. Talisman from Sag Harbor, NY experienced rudder failure and is returning to her home port.
The start went off without incident in 15-18 knot easterly wind under cloudy skies. The boats were reaching off at about 50 degrees apparent wind. The press boats snapping photos had trouble keeping pace with maxis Morning Glory, Boomerang and Pyewacket who were easily doing 14knots in the choppy waters.
The race communications vessel Geronimo reported 25knots easterly winds at about 6:45 EDT on Friday evening. This is expected to build during the night and shift to northeast by morning. Velocity should continue at around 20knots or higher. With these conditions, race routing forecasters are predicting the first boats may finish within 50-52 hours. This would take a big chunk off the record set by Boomerang in 1996 at 57hr:31min:50sec.