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U.S. Class 40 Sailor, Joe Harris, to Attempt 40-foot Monohull Non-Stop

Long time U.S. short-handed sailor, Joe Harris, announced his plans today to attempt to break the non-stop solo Around the World Record for 40-foot monohulls. Harris will make the attempt in his Class 40, GryphonSolo2.

The attempt will be made in accordance with the rules of the World Sailing Speed Record Council, who will time the start and finish in Newport, RI. Additionally, a ‘WSSRC Black Box’ will be installed on the boat, the data from which will be used to ratify any claim by GryphonSolo2, that the existing record of 137 days, 20 hours, one minute, 57 seconds, set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan in 2013, has been broken.

Joe intends to leave Newport on a favorable weather window at the beginning of November. To qualify for an Around the World record, Joe will sail from Castle Hill Light in Newport, returning to Newport, leaving Antarctica to starboard. The attempt is an approximate distance of 26,700 nautical miles. To beat the current record, Joe will need to average 195 miles per day, or roughly 8.2 knots/hour.

Joe Harris stated, “I have been hoping, planning and dreaming of racing around the world since I was about 20 and now I am 55. I have come dangerously close to doing this twice; first with my Open 50 GryphonSolo in 2008 in the Velux 5 Oceans Race, before it was postponed. I then bought my Class 40 GryphonSolo2 in 2011 with the express purpose of racing solo around the world, but alas, there is no longer a race, as the Global Ocean Race will not run again. So, being ‘all dressed up with nowhere to go’, I have decided to ‘just do it’ and in turn attempt to break the speed record for a 40-foot monohull.Joe Harris, to Attempt 40-foot Monohull Non-Stop

There is no other sporting event in the world that runs for 137 days, 24 hours day, in which you are the only athlete on the playing field racing against the clock. So this will no doubt be the greatest challenge I have ever faced and I would be lying if I said that the prospect of being alone on the great oceans of the world for four months is not an intimidating thought. It is. But in the end, this will provide me the greatest test that I can imagine. So I look forward to engaging with anyone who would like to follow the record attempt, from the preparation, to the start, to the communication from sea, to my return to Newport in, hopefully, anything less than 137 days.”

Throughout the next five months, Joe will be actively training for his around the world record attempt. In addition to multi-day training sails, Joe will also participate in Block Island Race Week (double-handed Navigators Division), Marblehead-Halifax (double-handed) and the Ida Lewis Distance Race.

In preparation of the attempt, GryphonSolo2 has undergone a major refit at Maine Yacht Center including:
• New auto pilots installed.
• New solar panels and hydrogenerator installed for offshore energy production
• Keel and rudders removed, inspected and reinstalled.
• New set of sails built specifically for the record attempt.
• Mast completely stripped and re-painted.
• New Iridium satellite communication system.
• New computer and navigation system.

more info ……………gryphonsolo2.com

by Julianna Barbieri

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