At the 300 mile point in the race we were a little over 2 hours ahead of the world record time. Unfortunately, a squall which was predicted to only be 3-4’ seas exploded into a full gale right along our track line and caused conditions to rapidly deteriorate. As you may have been able to interpret from our SPOT tracking map, we started to significantly slow down at 5pm as seas built from 2-3 to 3-5 to 4-6 then 6-8. By 5:30 we were running directly into very steep 12 – 14’ confused seas at a very tight interval with gale force winds, torrential rain and lighting directly on our bow. Taking turns at the helm, we pressed onward as fast as we could possibly push it running between 16 and 21 MPH. Since we were so far east and the weather was so poor, it turned dark around 7pm. After sunset, with Nick on the controls, we continued onward trying to punch through the storm and get to the calm water that awaited us closer to Bermuda. Seas continued to build as we pushed on. The darkness combined with the driving rain and pounding spray made it difficult to accurately estimate the actual wave heights, but they were running several feet above the top of our T-Top with 3 foot of breaking whitecaps on top of that which would put them at 12 – 14’ with an occasional larger wave. For the next two hours we continued forward was fast as we could possibly push it but we were only able to make about 16 – 18 mph. Just after 9pm, we had a decision to make, continue forward through 12 – 14’ deteriorating conditions, or turn back. You will never find three guys who are more competitive, hate to lose or give up than Nick, Mike or I but we also all have enough experience to know just how far we can push ourselves and our equipment and when it is time to choose safety over pride and have the chance to break a record another day. For us, that time came around 9pm. We were almost exactly halfway to Bermuda, when we made the turn and set course for the nearest U.S. port which was Indian River Inlet in Dewey Beach, DE. Once we made the turn, our attitude shifted from race mode and we slowed down and took the next hour checking all our equipment, making sure nothing had broken loose on the boat, checked all engine fluids, etc.