Please select your home edition
Allen Brothers

GryphonSolo2: Leg 8 - From hairy times to becalmed

by Joe Harris, GryphonSolo2 10 Mar 08:42 PST
GryphonSolo2 © Martin Gunter / Instituto Fueguino De Tourismo

I am coming to you live from a very active North Atlantic Ocean as we make our way from Grenada to Lorient, France in the 8th and final leg of the Globe40 RTW race.

This leg has been a bit of everything from a strong upwind start in the lower Caribbean to being becalmed for three days to now being pummeled as we approach the Azores archipelago.

Last night was the hairiest night of our entire RTW voyage. The wind and sea state kept building until we were in 30' seas and winds gusting to 60 knots. We were prepared with a sail plan of 3 reefs in the mainsail and the staysail (not much sail area), which worked well up to 50k of wind. But the gusts above that laid the boat over hard, and caused Roger and I, huddled in the cabin, to wonder if we were going to get knocked down and rolled. It was scary. We were both thinking about life rafts and EPIRB's and rescues.

But finally, the 60k gusts subsided and we were able to continue, albeit still in gale conditions, but not shitting our pants the way we had been for about 30 minutes. It makes you think. Driving right up to the hairy naked edge of the cliff... looking over the cliff.... but not jumping... or being pushed!

Anyway, we could psycho-analyze that for quite some time, but meanwhile.... we have to carry on.

So we are still under our small sail plan and in 25-40k of wind as we approach the Azores and try to plot a path through that the wind will allow us to sail where we don't bump into land (that would be bad).

We are about a week away from completion of the race in Lorient and we are looking forward to that (understatement of the century).

Roger and I have been at this for nearly a year, having left Maine Yacht Center in Portland in May of last year. That is a long time for two guys to be in a 6 x 6 cabin with one bunk and a bucket and a Jet Boil for delicious freeze-dried food. The end is near... which is timely and great.... and now we just have to figure out what to do next. This will complete my second RTW solo or DH sailing trip, so maybe I need to find a new trick.

It will all work out as it is meant to. I have many ideas percolating, that all begin with re-uniting with my family at home.

We look forward to Lorient and the race closing dinner March 19, to get really drunk with our fellow competitors and unfortunately say good-bye. It will be sad, as this has been an epic adventure.

But first we gotta finish!

Related Articles

GS2 Globe40 Epilogue
GryphonSolo2 sold in France after finishing the Globe40 I am writing this note from the comfort of my home office, with the heel angle at zero, the temperature at 70-degrees, no waves crashing over the house, and a kitchen and bathroom close by. Posted on 20 May
Second Globe40 scheduled for 2025-26
Pre-Notice of Race published today The first round the world race with stopovers created by a French organiser, the GLOBE40 proved to be an extremely demanding competition and an extraordinary human adventure. Posted on 2 May
The Globe40 Film
Nine months of competition, 35,000 nautical miles sailed around the planet Nine months of competition, 8 unprecedented stopovers, 25 competing skippers, 35,000 nautical miles sailed around the planet... the Globe40 film is online! Posted on 6 Apr
GryphonSolo2 finishes the Globe40
Joe Harris reflecting on the past ten months As we approach the finish line in the cold rain and pitch-black night of the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France, moving rapidly toward the conclusion of the Globe40 around-the-world race, I am reflecting on the past ten months. Posted on 18 Mar
Gryphon Solo2 finishes the Globe40
The end of the great adventure around the planet The American competitor Gryphon Solo 2 crossed the Globe40 finish line today in front of Lorient at 07:53 UTC. In 3rd position on this leg Joe Harris and Roger Junet finished this first edition of the Globe40 in 4th place. Posted on 17 Mar
GryphonSolo2: Globe40 Leg 8 update
Update from Roger Junet! Roger Junet shares an update on how he is feeling and his reflections on the Globe40 & GS2 Posted on 16 Mar
SEC HAYAI takes outright victory in the GLOBE40
The Dutch crew of Frans Budel and Ysbrand Endt finish off Lorient, Brittany Off Lorient, Brittany, the Dutch crew on SEC HAYAI made up of Frans Budel and Ysbrand Endt, crossed the finish line of the 8th and final leg of the GLOBE40 at 19:41 UTC this Wednesday. Posted on 16 Mar
GryphonSolo2: Globe40 Leg 8 update
Less than a 1,000 miles to go of the 40,000 mile epic journey I have some down time as I am trapped in the cabin as we ride out this third blast of heavy weather as the North Atlantic delivers its final blows to Team GS2. Posted on 13 Mar
Globe40 Leg 8 update: Until the last day
Competitors face a new low-pressure system today The GLOBE40 competitors will have to face a new low-pressure system today and on Monday on arrival in the Bay of Biscay with winds of up to 50 knots and seas of up to 10 m in the northern part of the Bay. Posted on 12 Mar
Globe40 Leg 8 Update: AMHAS moves into the lead
In a stormy Azores archipelago The Anglo-American crew on AMHAS moved into the lead at the Azores gate to the west of the archipelago today at 19H19 UTC with a 51 miles lead over their closest rival more in the south, the Dutch team on SEC HAYAI. Posted on 9 Mar
Visit Pensacola 2023 FOOTERJ Composites 2022 - J45 v4 FOOTERArmstrong-Suptonic-728x90-2 BOTTOM