by Joe Harris
Joe Harris updates on the progress of GryphonSolo2 in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race.
GryphonSolo2 in action
It’s a beautiful morning here at slightly less than 100 miles left to Bermuda. The Sting song 'Brand New Day' is playing in my head and I’m finally feeling rested after three hours sleep filled with some wild dreams.
It was a long night of wind in the five knot range, but at least it never quit, so we were able to continue making forward progress, albeit slowly.
The night sky displayed an amazing number of stars and offered the opportunity for Rob and I to identify a few constellations, although we were both rusty and wishing we had the I-Phone App!
Life on board has settled into a steady routine of trimming, navigating, eating, sleeping and maintaining the boat. A pretty simple life, where happiness is driven by having wind and going fast and having no wind and going slow causes a complete psychological re-evaluation. I wish it were that simple on land.
Food consists of cereal or a sandwich for breakfast, a sandwich (was cold cuts, now peanut butter) for lunch and a Mountain House dehydrated meal in a pouch for dinner. Coffee is a constant at watch changes and occasionally on night watch an Irish fellow named John Jameson will make his way into the coffee and he is greeted as a friend!
In past Bermuda races I have often finished at this point or at least near finishing, but this has been a slow race for sure and we are hoping to be in at some point tonight, but more realistically acknowledging a likely finish on Wednesday morning.
Our archrivals and Class 40 friends Ed and Chad aboard Pleiad Racing are maybe three miles in front of us, so our mission in life is to pass them before the finish line.
If we get some wind it is certainly possible to track them down as we have exchanged the lead with them at least four times already, but if it goes super-light it will be challenging to go much faster than they are going, in sub- five knot wind and boat speeds.
We are currently humming along at eight knots with our A3 gennaker (spinnaker) up in 10 knots of breeze at a 115 degree true wind angle, and life is good. Morning coffee and a beautiful sunrise fill me with appreciation and gratitude.
Hopefully it will continue to be a good day by our simple definition and we can achieve our goal of being the first double-handed boat and first Class 40 to finish. The handicap corrections do not favor Class 40’s, particularly in a light wind race, so our goal is to win our division of the race boat for boat.
Wish us luck-
Race Tracker available here.