Atlantic Cup fire drill for Joe Harris
by Talbot Wilson on 15 Mar 2011
Atlantic Cup - When US solo sailor Joe Harris sold his Open 50 GryphonSolo in July of 2009, he had an empty feeling in the pit of his stomach. His dream of racing solo around the world had gone to California as a movie prop and he felt he had unfinished business.
Commissioning is underway on Joe Harris’ new Akilaria RC2 Class 40 Gryphon Solo 2 in La Trinite, France. He is shooting for a quick trans-Atlantic crossing and The Atlantic Cup May 6th in New York. - Atlantic Cup .
With the Open 50 class fading away, his choices for an around-the-world solo vehicle were an Open 60 or a Class 40. The latter was his choice as the more financially viable means of getting him on his way around the great capes.
Joe sailed a number of different Class 40's before settling on the Akilaria RC2 designed by Mark Lombard. However, he had no idea when he signed the purchase contract in September 2010, with a financial incentive to commission the boat near the builder's factory in Tunisia, that the country would soon lead the Arab world into violent revolution and overthrow of the long-standing dictatorship.
However, despite some nervous moments, the builder did a fantastic job of working through the turmoil and the boat was recently shipped to LaTrinite, France, for commissioning, only a few weeks beyond its originally scheduled delivery date.
Joe and the team are now hustling to get GryphonSolo 2 commissioned, launched and sea-trialed in advance of the trans-Atlantic delivery from France to New York in time for the Class 40 Atlantic Cup, which starts May sixth. Read more of Joe’s personal account of his Class 40 project http://www.atlanticcup.org/archives/974!here!.