Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Rolex Fastnet Race recap from Gryphon Solo 2

by Joe Harris on 19 Aug 2011
Gryphon Solo 2, Race start - Rolex Fastnet Race 2011 Gryphon Solo / © http://www.gryphonsolo.com
Rolex Fastnet Race recap from Gryphon Solo 2’s skipper Joe Harris:

As our race ended abruptly on the first day of an expected four day race, I thought it might be good to review what happened and how the race turned out for others. Thank you to everyone who expressed condolences and encouragement following our withdrawal from the Fastnet due to sail damage. It was a big let down and we have been in a bit of a somber mood over the last few days as we delivered the boat back to Southampton, cleaned her up and prepared her for shipping back to the states.

As the Fastnet race unfolded, The big news of course was the capsize of the 100' Rambler, the Juan K-designed beasty boat that lost their keel just after rounding Fastnet rock in the Irish sea and slowly turned completely upside down. Rambler and leopard sailed closely past us in the English Channel and their towering rigs and huge loads were both impressive and a bit scary. Once rambler capsized, with the mast and sails still intact, the boat was quite stable upside down while crewmembers scrambled out from below deck and climbed on to the hull bottom. The owner, George David, Chairman of United Technologies and his girlfriend evidently floated away from the boat and were in the water for more than two hours before being plucked from the sea. All 22 Rambler crewmembers were rescued and a salvage operation is underway to recover the boat and rig. Pretty scary.

Another big story was the record time of the 130' maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire, that finished the race in under 30 hours with an average speed of about 20 knots. Banque Populaire, is an amazing machine, preparing for an around the world record attempt led by Loick Peyron. My bet is they break the record by a fair margin.

In our Class 40 division, the finish was very close with Tanguay Delamotte aboard Initiatives taking line honors. four more Class 40's finished within seven minutes of Tanguay so it was really incredibly close racing over 600 miles. I would like to think that we could have finished with that top group, but I really have not spent enough time in the boat yet to get that kind of performance. The performance bar is high in Class 40, and getting better all the time. After the boat is shipped back to the USA in early September, my plan is to sail as much as possible before it gets too cold, with a particular focus on upwind performance and water ballast use and transfer. These areas need improvement for sure, while the downwind performance of the boat is clearly great. It will be nice to finally have the opportunity to properly work the boat up to racing form, as I have not been able to do that with the boat in France.

I am also on the hunt for a title sponsor and will reinvigorate those efforts with the boat coming to its home waters, providing the ability to take prospects out for a sail. Anyone wanting to come for a sail in Newport please let me know.
So, I look forward to keeping in touch and providing further progress updates in the campaign leading the 2013 Global Solo Race.

All Rolex Fastnet Race Gryphon Solo 2 website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Barz Optics - FloatersKilwell - 5Southern Spars - 100