13 of today's starters will only be using celestial navigation to find the small islands of Bermuda 645 miles out in the Atlantic. The remaining 55 will use GPS systems to navigate the course. The Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race originally required all boats to use celestial navigation, but yielded to modern electronics in 1997.
Among the hundreds of amateur sailors in the fleet, celebrity Sir John VEREKER, the Governor of Bermuda, is sailing on Babe with Dr Colin COUPER and Geraldo RIVERA is racing his own 70' S&S custom Voyager, the vessel he sailed round the world.
The iBoat tracking home page presented by Globalstar is now active on the Race Website and it shows the position of the Gulf Stream slicing across the rhumb line with a four knot current moving basically west to east across the yacht's course south to Bermuda. Other features such as revolving currents caused by warm and cold eddies are also visible.
Weather predicted for today's start calls for southwest winds at ten to 15 knots with dense fog early and a slight chance of a shower or two. Saturday calls for much the same, but maybe a little less wind.