Hours into the 2020 Online Newport Bermuda Race, boats in each of the four divisions have fanned out across the course, with many navigators sticking close to the rhumbline and others footing for speed, 10 to 20 miles to the east.
But in each grouping, several bold moves have been made to sail much farther east, betting that they will make up the extra distance sailed due to stronger winds over the next few days.
Leaders in each division - those with the shortest distance to go to the finish - are boats that have sailed slightly low and faster than those sailing on the rhumbline, with Guadalete of Spain leading the Double-Handed Division. Scott Bearse/Slide Rule, a US boat and Sailonline.org regular, leads the St. David's Lighthouse Division, also having sailed about 10 miles east of the rhumb.
In the Finisterre cruising class, 12 miles east of the rhumbline, the leader is Erik Haaland/Thunder86, which is the Italia Yachts/David Walters Yachts factory team, sponsor of the division. On a similar track and vying for first in fleet overall and the lead in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division are three Xp 55's—Maxwell Bearse/mbearse217, Jack Watson/captjack1942, and Klyvarn.