Newport-Bermuda fleet to depart Friday

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The first of more than a dozen starts is set for 2 p.m. EDT Friday when the 188-strong Newport Bermuda Race fleet gathers off Castle Hill in the East passage from Narragansett Bay to Rhode Island Sound for the 47th "thrash to the Onion Patch." Each class is then scheduled to start at 10-minute intervals for a two-hour period until all boats are heading out to cross the Gulf Stream towards Bermuda.

Once the fleet has disappeared from view, digital spectators can follow their favorite boat, class or division online at www.bermudarace.com, then click on the 'Go to Race tracking' within the Race Tracking window on the left, and follow the prompts.

The race is organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The New York Yacht Club Race Committee sets the starting line and makes sure all boats start in proper fashion. The record, set in 2002, is held by the late Roy Disney's Pywacket with a time of 53 hours, 39 minutes 22 seconds.