Well, it appears that I was left out of the loop on an important piece of information -- Bryan's dad's boat has changed racing classes. Their previous class was determined strictly by length, and some of the gung-ho racers in that class strip their boats down as much as possible, to make them lighter and quicker. Bryan's dad and his co-owner, although they like a good race and wouldn't miss this one for anything (including Branwen and Larry's wedding!), also like to use the boat for pleasure cruises. This means that there's a stove in the galley, storage lockers full of non-essential gear, and so on. So they decided to switch classes to one based more on the weight of the boat.
So far this looks to be paying off. The GPS shows them right in the thick of their class, with more boats behind than ahead, and anything possible. This is being a relatively slow race; only about half a dozen boats in ANY class have rounded the buoy which marks the "corner" of the race route. And the perennial rival is behind them. Of course, the start is by classes, and the rival started 10 minutes later. But to my eyes on the map, they look to be more that 10 minutes behind. I'll keep you posted.