by Joe Harris
GryphonSolo2's Joe Harris reports on the latest progress as they approach the final stretch to Portland.
GryphonSolo2 in action
We are now about 40 miles from Maine Yacht Center in Portland and have been riding a 20 knot south westerly breeze all night with average boat speed of 10 knots and some surfs up to 14k. It is a really nice way to finish this delivery on a speedy note, as it has been a lot of light air and motor sailing over the last four days. We had big-time negative current nearly the whole way and particularly around the gulf stream where we managed to find nearly five knots of mostly foul current, so it is really nice to finally be free of that and putting down some miles.
I am looking forward to reconnecting with Brian Harris at Maine Yacht Center as he worked with me on my Open 50 campaign nearly 10 years ago. Brian is a world-class preparateur who spent many years working with Josh Hall on his Gartmore Open 60 Around Alone and Vendee Globe races and also supported Emma Richards when she sailed solo around the globe. When I bought my Open 50 from Brad Van Liew, Brian helped me sail the boat across the Atlantic for the start of the 2004 Transat Race, solo from England to Boston and his help was invaluable. More recently Brian has been putting together a number of Class 40’s and also helping Rich Wilson with his Great American Open 60’s that he sailed in the last Vendee Globe and now plans to go again in 2016. There are few people on the planet that are more experienced and competent in dealing with every aspect of preparing a boat for long distance offshore solo or DH sailing, so Rob, GS2 and I are looking forward to our stay at MYC for about three or four weeks.
So my plan is to get the boat cleaned up, emptied, sails off and then hauled out in the next two days and then head home to see my kids who I am missing a lot. Also need to get back to a few real estate projects that need attention. This has been a great two week round trip to Bermuda but it will be nice to get back home and catch up.
Next up on the sailing calendar will be some sea trials on GS2 at the end of July with the new clean energy gear and then the Eggomoggin Reach Regatta in downeast Maine aboard my family’s Concordia Yawl 'Katrina' which my sister Wendie is currently looking after. Great classic yacht racing around Castine, Camden and then Brooklin, Maine, where my Mom lives and the home of Wooden Boat Magazine. Hoping some of my Class 40 mates will join me.
Looking forward to it all- thank you to all who are following and supporting the GS2 program.