American Joe Harris along with Roger Junet are competing in the Globe40, a multi-leg doublehanded round the world race in Class40s. Seven teams were at the beginning on June 26, with five teams now on the third leg from Mauritius to Auckland, New Zealand.
After leaving the Indian Ocean island nation on September 11th, Harris files this report from onboard GryphonSolo2 on October 10, 2022:
The big news from GS2 is that we are out of the Great Australian Bight and through the Bass Strait, which is a major milestone for this leg of the race. We are also now officially out of the Indian Ocean and into the Pacific Ocean, which is also pretty cool.
The Bass Strait was challenging in that there were many squalls that would disrupt the prevailing SW wind and cause us to reduce sail and/or simply get pummeled for 20 minutes by high winds and rain. It tends to make you a little paranoid – always looking over your shoulder for the next big black cloud.
As a result, we became a bit more “defense” oriented then “offense”, where we are always looking to put more sail up and go faster. We were also very close to land for the first time in a month so had to be careful not to bump into anything.
Anyway, the exit from the Bass Strait was really cool…somewhat Jurassic Park’esq, as we sailed under sunny skies past these vertical rock unpopulated volcanic islands and mainland which was very green but also very remote. We are now out the other side into the Tasman Sea, between Australia and New Zealand, and have set a course for Cape Reinga at the northern tip of New Zealand, a mere 1,200 miles away.
The weather for the coming week looks highly variable, with no trade wind pattern, just a series of high and low pressure systems passing through North/South that makes routing a real challenge. As we are on Day 30 of this leg, we are very ready to get to Auckland, so hoping we can thread the needle through this weather maze. It is challenging to find the best route in a constantly changing weather environment.
We are seeing signs of long-term fatigue on the equipment all around the boat, as blocks are starting to fail due to broken ball bearings, spectra lashings are fraying, the winches are whining and groaning and the maintenance list grows.
We use our repaired A2 spinnaker gingerly – up to 20 knots wind speed – and are heavily relying on the Code Zero as our “jackknife” multi-purpose sail for reaching and running. We will receive a new A2 spinnaker and A3 reaching spinnaker in Auckland that were ordered months ago so looking forward to a reinforced and deeper sail wardrobe for Leg 4 to Tahiti.
After a month at sea, the cookie and chocolate supply is also dangerously low, but thankfully the freeze-dried food supply remains abundant, as does the salami and cheese supply, due to my paisan partner Ruggerio. Our socks smell bad, as do our sleeping bags, so ready for some laundry in Auckland, as well as some famous NZ lamb chops and vino!
We hope everyone is enjoying fall back home and that our next message will be from very close to the finish line in Auckland in about 7 days.
Note: As the scoring format gives extra value to the longer legs, Leg 3 is similar to Leg 2 as it is worth a coefficient 3. The leg is approximately 7,000 miles in distance and will take between 30 and 35 days.
The inaugural Globe40 is an eight leg round the world race for doublehanded Class40 teams. As all legs count toward the cumulative score, the longer distances more heavily weighted. The first leg, which took seven to eight days to complete, had a coefficient 1 while the second leg is ranked as a coefficient 3 leg. The race is expected to finish March 2023. Seven teams were ready to compete, but a Leg 1 start line collision eliminated The Globe En Solidaire with Eric and Léo Grosclaude (FRA) while the Moroccan team of Simon and Omar Bensenddik on IBN BATTOUTA retired before the Leg 2 start.
Tangier, Morocco – June 26
Leg 2 start: Sao Vincente, Cape Verde Islands – July 17
Leg 3 start: Port Louis, Mauritius – September 11
Leg 4 start: Auckland, New Zealand
Leg 5 start: Papeete, French Polynesia
Leg 6 start: Ushuaia, Argentina
Leg 7 start: Recife, Brazil
Leg 8 start: St Georges, Grenada
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