Racing in the 50th Thrash to the Onion Patch got underway right on schedule. It was a routine sequence with boats sailing close on the wind heading south to Bermuda. It was a flood tide, so only one boat was over early. Race historian John Rousmaniere said it was the most routine start he had ever seen.

Up until mid-week the race looked to be the second or third largest in history. Then the weather forecasts began predicting gales in and below the Gulf Stream. Following the weather briefing on Thursday night boats began withdrawing from the race. Finally 47 boats that had entered decided not to race. That brought the total from 184 on Monday to 142.

The 100-foot ‘Comanche’ took off in the last start, the Open Division, and drew a crowd of press boats at the beginning of her record-breaking attempt. The record of 39hr 39min 18sec was set by the 88-foot ‘Rambler’ in 2012.

In his morning briefing to the fleet, Chairman AJ Evans told the skippers that Commanders Weather advised and the committee suggests that if skippers decided to withdraw after starting they should decide before entering the Gulf Stream. He emphasized once again that the decision to race is the responsibility of the yacht’s person in charge.

Watch the start and follow your favorites to Bermuda

If you could not go to Newport for the start, the start can come to you. Watch a replay of live video and commentary of the start on Livestream. Commentator Andy Green hosted the program from the Inn at Castle Hill overlooking the starting line. With cameras on the hill and on the water, he is close to the action bringing live sailing directly to you.

Green will now post race updates with commentary at 10AM EDT, and at 12, 2, and 5PM daily throughout the race. Facebook, twitter, and the web will be buzzing with news and reports.

Virtual spectators can watch the race unfold as their favorite yachts, skippers, or crewmembers in this 635-mile ocean classic tack and gybe their way through the Gulf Stream and hunt for the wind in the ‘happy valley’ north of Bermuda. All boats in the 2016 fleet will be tracked by YB satellite trackers as live as it can be on Pantaenius Race Tracking — — your link to all the action in the race.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.