Rambler leads the charge
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 21 knots and continued south of the stream in the high teens through Saturday evening. Med Spirit, a Welbourn 92 skippered by Michael D’Amelio, leads that group in Class 16. Indio is a Frers designed Wally 100 owned by Mark Fliegner.
At 4:30 EDT Saturday Rambler was 195 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 bottom part of the course. Forecasters predict that the strong northeast winds in the Gulf Stream will gradually abate south of the Stream, with light air developing south of 35ºN for most of the fleet Sunday.