A record number of boats started in this year's sailing of the Newport-Bermuda Race on Friday, June 14. Of the 184 entered, only two boats failed to start, True North and Gitna.
Another two, Kiva and Talisman, withdrew early due to mechanical problems.
A 15- to 18-knot breeze got the racers underway as the boats were reaching off the line. Taking the lead at the start were George Coumantaros' Boomerang and Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory. All that changed Saturday night, when Morning Glory fell behind 40 miles after a steady duel with Boomerang.
By Sunday morning, current record holder, Boomerang, relinquished the lead, falling behind Roy Disney's 75-foot Pyewacket. In the 20- to 30-knot southwesterly, Pyewacket maintained the pace. As the day wore on, the breeze subsided. In spite of the lighter air, Pyewacket was first across the finish line at St. David's Light at 19:54:22 EDT, setting a new record with an unofficial lapse time of 53 hours 39 minutes 22 seconds. Boomerang, the 1996 record holder, finished second at 20:17:44 EDT, breaking her own record of 57 hours 31 minutes 50 seconds.