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Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW LEADERBOARD

GryphonSolo2 Globe40 Leg 6 Update: Recife approach

by Joe Harris, GryphonSolo2 30 Jan 05:57 PST
GryphonSolo2 © Martin Gunter / Instituto Fueguino De Tourismo

As I write this we are steaming towards Recife, Brazil at 11 knots of boatspeed with just over 300 miles to go to the finish. It is a wet and wild ride at night with a beautiful half-moon and many stars.

GS2 is careening through the waves with all our gear and sails stacked to windward as well as water ballast to counteract the force of a 20k wind on the beam (from 90-degrees.)

We have Team Amhas directly in front of us in first place with a 100-mile lead and Team Sec Hayai directly behind us by about 40 miles in third place. We are hoping this strong wind holds to the finish, but it is supposed to go lighter as get closer to shore, so it could get interesting for second place.

We have been going upwind for about 1200 miles and I must say that it is getting old. It is difficult to move around the boat at a 20-30' heel angle and the boat banging through heavy seas. We have had no falls or injuries yet, but we move slowly and carefully, generally with three points of contact, like you were rock climbing. This has allowed us to remain reasonably fit even though we are not making many sail changes. We have been tacking a lot, which requires us to move a large "stack" of gear and sails from one side of the boat to the other, which takes about 30 minutes and uses quite a bit of energy.

It is now very hot as we head north toward the equator so we seek shade like lizards. It's hard to find a spot on the boat out of the sun and wind and spray or rain to sit down to eat or read a book. As the trade winds come and go we trim the sails and keep the boat on course and hopefully moving at optimal speed and wind angle. It does get hairy at times and monotonous at other times, so Roger and I try to keep each other motivated and safe.

Weather-wise we have had a little of everything and squalls packing gusty winds and rain are a frequent occurrence so we have to be alert to not get overpowered and/or soaking wet. We try to take care of the boat and hope the boat will take care of us.

So I will wrap this message up as it is very hard to type at 30' heel but I hope everyone is watching the YB Race Tracker at either or We look forward to checking out Brazil.

All Best,
Joe Roger on GS2

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