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GryphonSolo2: Globe 40 Prologue Race begins

by Joe Harris, GryphonSolo2 13 Jun 18:05 PDT

We are under way again after an intensive week of work on the boat after the long delivery from Maine to France. The Prologue Race to the Globe40 started on Saturday at 3:00. The format was an upwind start to an orange mark about 2 miles up and then a reaching leg to another mark and then a turn south for the actual course south to Morocco, which is about 950 miles.

We had a good start but struggled a bit upwind as we only have two people on board and the other boats all have 3 or 4, so our maneuvers take a little longer. When we finally got around the island that guards Lorient harbor we freed up for a beam reach and the boats took off in a pack of 6 at 10-13k of boatspeed that was really fun to watch and be a part of. The first night Roger and I tried to catch up on sleep and sailed the boat fairly conservatively, as this is "the race to the start of the race' and we didn't want to break anything. The boats appear to be fairly evenly matched and the crew are a mixed bag of people doing one or more legs of the Globe40. We have had two problems already- first our Code 5 fractional reaching sail had the lashing at the tack (bottom) of the sail chafe through so the sail ran up the cable and was impossible to furl. We gybed and did a "Mexican" takedown that backwinded the sail against the rig and allowed us to lower it to the deck. It is below awaiting repair.

Just this morning as we approach the famous Cape Finisterre in Spain in 30 knots of wind, a sheave block under our staysail furler blew apart with a very loud bang due to a combination of a 40k gust and a huge wave hitting us. The sail and the unattached furler were flying around the foredeck until we were able to corral them and lower the sail to the deck. We are not having very good luck with our staysail as you might remember, we had trouble furling it and it ripped on the second day out from Portland and we were unable to use it for the balance of the trip. It was repaired in Lorient, but now we have a different issue to contend with. Hopefully, we can come up with a work-around solution to use it on this race as we have a long way to go!

So that's the big news from Team GS2 - we are rounding Cape Finisterre as we speak and it is blowing 30-40k as it often does so we will continue to limp along and try to make some repairs and remain competitive. I have not seen a position report yet but am told we are in the middle of the pack so far. You can follow the race online by going here: or viewing updates/tracked on the GS2 site: Break- Break- more to follow.

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