sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Global Solo Race 2012-13 Racing solo for America

Global Solo Race 2012-13 Racing solo for America

'Joe Harris, GryphonSolo2 - Global Solo Race 2013-14'    Gryphon Solo / ©

Perhaps the biggest failure of American sailing over the past decades is the lack of presence and impact at the highest ends of global shorthanded sailing. It wasn't even until 2004-2005 that an American, Bruce Schwab, managed to finish the Vendee Globe. But for Americans, the podium has been (much) harder to scale than Mount Everest. Ditto the transatlantic races, and just about any elite shorthanded event. Lack of sponsorship interest in the US has no doubt been the biggest problem when it comes to the lack of Americans, and lack of success. But for any American who loves shorthanded ocean racing, the best strategy has been to learn French or root for the Brits.

Neutrogena -  Nico Martinez ©?nid=85294  

Brad van Liew deserves enormous credit and respect for flying the flag over the past few years, and for being the one American to get to the top of the podium in a major solo global race, albeit the increasingly lame BOC/Around Alone/Velux 5 Oceans, and soon to be Purina Cat Chow Global Cruise (kidding, but it feels like it's headed that way). And respect to Mike Plant and the other Americans who have sailed well in the BOC/Around Alone, and to Ryan Breymaier for coming fifth in the Barcelona World Race (and for sailing it non-stop).

But I still lust for more Americans to a) enter a serious solo race; b) compete well; and c) kick some European ass. And so I welcome the return of Joe Harris, with his Gryphon Solo campaign, to the shorthanded racing scene. I first met Harris almost a decade ago, when he was learning to (not) sleep with the help of solo sailing sleep guru Claudio Stampi. So I followed his Gryphon Solo campaign (in van Liew's former Open 50), with interest. And he sailed to a second in the Transat and a first in class in the Jacques Vabre. So he was off to a promising start. But then the Open 50 class withered, Harris had a third child, and, well, you know. But after a couple of years thinking about how to get back into it, Harris built an Akilaria RC2 Class 40 and he is now campaigning it with the aim of competing in the Class 40-based Global Solo race, 2013-2014. Watch the video interview with Joe Harris here.

Harris is not a professional sailor (he is in real estate). But he has professional-grade ambitions and wants to put up the results required to elevate him to the top ranks of American solo ocean racers. The Class 40, which is very hot right now, is an interesting choice. Simpler, and less powerful than his former Open 50, it has two major benefits: it costs less, and you will usually find a full start line. There is no doubt Harris misses the Open 50s mind-bending power and its canting keel. 'There's just nothing quite like that push-button control and watching that big old bulb move to windward and the boat picking up 2 knots,' he says. But he is determined to master the art of making a Class 40 (with its fixed keel and four water ballast tanks) go fast.

His first chance to do that was in the recent Normandy Channel Race (he sailed double-handed with Global Ocean Race honcho--and former Vendee competitor--Josh Hall. And by Harris' own admission it was a fairly bracing wake-up regarding how little he knows about the art of sailing his Class 40. Upwind in breeze and waves, in particular, was a challenge, with the boat either on its ear or stalling. 'It will take a bit of time to get used to it, and clearly there is a bit of a learning curve here,' he admits. But he got a kick out of the downwind speed of the flat-bottomed design. 'The boat is very quick to plane and feels a lot like a surfboard or Laser,' he says. 'We had lots of fun riding waves, and the boat stay on a plane for a very long time.'

Harris is smart to take his time working the boat up to the 2012-2013 Global Solo Race. It will be solo, start in Europe, and stop only in Cape Town and Punta Del Este. That means that durability, and knowledge of the boat and its systems, will be key. Race Director Josh Hall is launching this new shorthanded brand with a Global Ocean Race that sets off this Fall. It is doublehanded, has multiple stops, and is likely to find perhaps 15 Class 40s on the start line. If it succeeds, and the Global Solo Race is a good follow-on, Hall could conceivably alternate the two races every two years. Harris is looking forward to it all. 'I grew up watching the Around Alone guys thinking it was pretty amazing. I feel like racing solo around the world is one of the ultimate challenges, and if you could pull it off it would be an amazing accomplishment and you could rest easy.'

Yep, it would be, and you can follow Harris' campaign to put an American stamp on the global shorthanded circuit online.

GryphonSolo2 website




by Tim Zimmerman

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=85294

1:47 PM Wed 29 Jun 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World





































Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5 by American Windsurfing Tour,


















470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,












ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Finn leaders emerge from shifty Santander breeze   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - RS:X winner images by Barbara Sanchez   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 470 spots awarded   
52 Super Series 2015 - Outlook looks hot for the 52 Super Series   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - Another early start on day 4   
ISAF Sailing World - First entry leaves sailor's reputation in tatters   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard   
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result   
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO   
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 7 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Laser and Radial winner images by Jesus Renedo   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Medal Race images by Sail-World.com   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Dutch dominate Laser and Radial in Santander   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT