Stiff winds, reported by weather authorities as sustained in the high 20s on the beam (from the side of the boat) made for a demanding first night for the 29 original starters. Race veterans compare last night's conditions to the 2002 and 2016 races which were marked by unusually stiff breezes.
The good news is that, as of this writing, the fleets are near the end of the rather rough stuff and are about to enter a zone of considerably more forgiving winds in the high teens.
Presently, A Fond Le Girafon is leading the fleet boat-for-boat. She's no doubt finding those foils that help with righting to be a real blessing. Green Buffalo is leading her division, PHRF overall, and the Pac Cup on corrected time.
Not racing? Really? Two Hanse 505's in the Cruising Division are the second and third boats in the overall lead! Anais and Outre Mer. Yeah, cruising, sure, we believe that.
One boat has retired. Cetacea, a Hudson 50, shows a track returning to port. The skipper has informed us that "steering system issues," one of the most common reasons for retiring in a heavy weather year, compelled her return to port.