Record Assault on Bermuda Continues
By Talbot Wilson
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. If you are reading this Sunday morning check Yellowbrick tracking to see who got line honors.
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 4:30 EDT Saturday ‘Rambler’ was 195 rhumbline miles from Bermuda sailing straight toward the islands at 14 kts. 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 NE 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.
Forecast issued at Saturday June 16, 16:00 EDT
Northeast winds 25-35 kts diminish to 20-30 kts in the Stream and 15-25 kts south of the Stream– squally showers in the Stream
Sunday, June 17 –Northeast winds diminish to 10-15 kts during the day and less than 10 kts at night - wind directions becoming Notyhwest to west by Monday morning. Few squally showers especially near Bermuda during the day becoming more settled at night.
Monday, June 18 – winds become light and variable – no squalls
Tuesday, June 19 – very light winds probably northwesterly then northeast at Bermuda – no squalls
If you are reading this Sunday morning, check Yellowbrick tracking to see if the wind held to produce a new Bermuda Race record. Go to: http://gae.yb.tl/nb2012