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GryphonSolo2: Globe40 Leg 8 - Update from Roger Junet!

by Joe Harris, GryphonSolo2 15 Mar 2023 23:13 PDT
GryphonSolo2 © Martin Gunter / Instituto Fueguino De Tourismo

Roger Junet shares an update on how he is feeling and his reflections on the Globe40 & GS2:

Captain Dave and Joe are asking how is Roger feeling. I have to think about how I am feeling. Often the way I answer that question is to list the things I crave: hot shower, beers, nice food, a bed that doesn't try to shake me off, sleep more than 3 hours at a time, be with the people I love and write my memoir about the Globe40 so my memories won't be forever lost.

Today I feel like it's another day onboard GS2. I am so relieved we came through those recent stormy days undamaged also I feel happy and at peace. I look at the routing software indicating 420nm left - 1d 22h 11m. How exciting!

I am imagining the finish line, my favorite people will be there, my mother, my brother, Hanna, Scott, and Nabilo. They came from the US and from my hometown in Italy. They wanted to be there at the finish line despite the shitty weather in Lorient and the expensive airplane lane ticket. It truly warms my heart. There is already a huge feeling of excitement that runs through my body thinking about finishing a doublehanded circumnavigation, rounding the 3 great capes and fiercely racing against tough skilled sailors on 40ft boats.

15 boats signed up for this race, 7 of us started last year in Lorient, and 4 boats are finishing. Those 15 teams had in common the same dream to race around the world but obstacles did arise and unfortunately, many competitors were unable to overcome them. It speaks loudly about how hard it is even to prepare for a RTW race and even harder to complete the race. With that thought comes a feeling of relief, we have almost made it, with only 420nm to go. We can't let our guard down, at the moment we need to closely watch for traffic, as the shipping lanes are insanely busy in Biscay heading into the English Channel, as well as it is a very active fishing area. We lost our AIS and radar so we don't see marine traffic on our screens.

Joe and I made a successful team. I am proud of us, we didn't let small things get in the way; mutual respect, kindness, and great sense of humor always prevailed. High five Giuseppe! Today we have sailed 188 days and 188 nights on GS2 together, in a very small living environment with primitive standards. I am grateful for the almighty GS2 that has been so good to us. The boat was well prepared and we took great care of her and she took care of her team. We did put the boat through some strenuous conditions in which many sailboats would not have had a positive outcome. In those moments Joe and I looked at each other asking how is the boat not breaking in half right now? Thank you GS2. You have been terrific; you gave us the confidence we need to just be a bit scared at times and not in desperation!

A sense of achievement is rising more from human interactions, my friends congratulating us, sailor friends telling me there are thousands of sailors who desire to accomplish such voyage, and comments on Facebook or news that support us and cheer us up. I will have plenty of time to think and confirm how I feel after the race and if a sense of achievement will hit me. I was anticipating finishing with the greatest strength and confidence a sailor can find on a boat but instead I am quiet, reflective, and feeling humble. As much as I am eager to cross the last finish line there is a bit of sadness that rises in me... the race will be over. We created a bond with other competitors and race management, we have been a family for 10 months and at 8 stops around the world. I will miss them as well as many of the beauties the ocean offers: the sunrises, the sunsets, the albatrosses, the rainbows. The stars are so unique when you are in the middle of the ocean sailing in areas so remote. We probably have been the only people ever to have sailed on that specific location leaving just a wake that lasts but a few seconds.

My brother once asked me, 'Is it fun?' It can be, but challenge is the first word that comes to my mind. Why do we do it? I believe challenge is the ultimate way to learn about our minds and our bodies and pain is just a reminder of the obstacles we overcome.

I am now ready to spend few months in Aosta, my hometown in the Italian Alps, and in the meantime see if some nice race opportunities will surface!

Thanks for all the support you gave us.

Roger Junet and Giuseppe Harris on GS2 approaching the finish.

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