I have not heard from Kristen this morning, but I'm not surprised. When I checked the weather at the Venice NOAA Data Buoy, winds were 32 kts. out of the NW, gusting to the 39 kts. For those not familiar with nautical winds, that's moderate to fresh gale, 32 to 45 miles per hour. Time to hunker down.
Only a few boats are underway at this point, with only two competitors (Class 5 catamarans) past Checkpoint 1--and not far past it. My history with the Everglades Challenge only goes back to KiwiBird's first, six years ago, but this is by far the worst weather I've seen.
Update: Just talked to SandyBottom, who is still at Ft. DeSoto and doesn't plan to leave until this evening at the earliest. KB called her this morning, to find out what they're up to. KB's still trying to decide what to do. Her health is still not 100%, but she knows it will be a downwind sail for at least a couple of days. KB will call in to Dawn or me at 0900 with a plan.