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Joe Harris returns to Newport completing solo circumnavigation

by Julianna Barbieri on 6 May 2016
2015-16 Round The World GryphonSolo2 - Joe Harris Julianna Barbieri
2015-16 Round The World GryphonSolo2 – Joe Harris completed his solo circumnavigation this morning returning to Newport for the first time since November 15, 2015.

At 08:27:48 EDT Joe Harris crossed Castle Hill Light on his Class 40, Gryphon Solo 2 completing a solo circumnavigation of the globe in 152 days 23 hours 10 minutes 24 seconds. Upon completion, Joe arrived at the Sail Newport pier in Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island where he reunited with his family and received a public welcome.

When asked how it feels to be back,'Fantastic, but I'm a little tired.'

On what he's looking forward to most, he said, 'spending time with my family, and a Hacky burger, which is a burger named after his friend that includes a burger with an egg covered in bacon with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and thousand island dressing on top and after that steak frites.'

On the most difficult part of the trip, 'The Southern Ocean is an inhospitable place, it's just a never ending series of low pressure systems rolling over you and it's always blowing 20, but often blowing 40. The seas get really big, really quickly and in a 40-foot boat that's light with a big sail plan, it tends to get thrown around and that can be scary. That's where I started to reach out to Rich Wilson and a lot of the other Americans who have done this before me who really pitched in with ideas and suggestions which was terrific. But Cape Horn, that was the goal, and it really is a gnarly, inhospitable place, it's just nasty down there.'

On being one of approximately 136 to sail around the globe solo leaving the five great capes to port, 'It's humbling and I'm very grateful. It's pretty amazing, it really is a small club.'

U.S. short-handed sailor, Joe Harris departed Newport, Rhode Island on November 15, 2015 in an attempt to break the non-stop solo Around the World Record for 40-foot monohulls. Harris sustained damage to his hydrogenerators forcing him to stop in Cape Town, South Africa on December 28, 2015 ending his record attempt. However, Joe elected to continue on and complete his solo sail around the world. Joe was again was forced to stop in Pirialopolis, Uruguay on March 24, 2015 due to hull damage. Following a ten-day pit-stop, Joe resumed sailing and to complete the circumnavigation back to Newport.

Joe has joined a small select group of approximately 136 who have sailed solo around the world leaving the five great capes (Good Hope – South Africa, Leeuwin - Australia, South East Cape – Tasmania, South West Cape – New Zealand, Cape Horn) to port.

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