Gryphon Solo is back afloat following her winter refit at the Newport Shipyard and soon will be offshore on delivery to the start of her first event of the season, the Charleston to Bermuda Race, called the C2B. The race starts May 18th and is traditionally a downhill ride, a fast point of sail for Gryphon Solo.
Joe Harris, skipper and owner of Gryphon Solo, is in full pursuit of his round-the-world campaign and this is the first of three events this season as he trains for the Portimao Global Ocean Race ("PGOR") now scheduled to start from Portimao, Portugal in September 2008. The race start was pushed back a year and the name changed to accommodate the new title sponsor and host port of Portimao. The race course remains the same, with stops in South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and South Carolina before returning to Portugal. The big red Open 50 will also sail in the Bermuda 1-2 and the Marblehead to Halifax Race this summer.
"Going to Charleston for the C2B is important for me this year," Harris commented. "Charleston will be the last stop before the finish in the 2008-09 PGOR, with the race visiting the South Carolina in the spring of 2009. We are coming to Charleston this year to help draw attention to that event, as well as to support the South Carolina Maritime Foundation's effort to build their C2B race to Bermuda."
In the C2B, Joe will sail in a crewed configuration. "We are taking some charter guests aboard for this 777 mile crossing," Harris continued. "It should be an interesting adventure for someone not used to the spartan conditions aboard an Open 50. With minimal interior accommodations, we will all be the best of friends by the end of the passage!"
Following the C2B awards ceremony at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on May 26, Harris will set off for the 635 mile delivery to Newport RI to begin preparation for the Bermuda 1-2 Race, which starts on June 9th. This will be Harris' fourth B1-2, the format of which is a single-handed race down to Bermuda and a double-handed race back, with the best combined time determining the winner.
"I'm sailing over 3,000 miles to and from Bermuda this summer," Harris quipped, "and based on my experience, no two passages will be the same. The Gulf Stream and the Atlantic are full of surprises. Then I'm off again on July 9th from Marblehead to Halifax Nova Scotia, sailing in colder water, the powerful tides found in the Bay of Fundy and equally tricky currents around Halifax. I'm looking forward to another summer of great offshore racing.
Gryphon Solo is supported by sponsorship from Iridium, Doyle Sailmakers, Awlgrip/Interlux, New England Rope and Alpine Air Food and is actively seeking title sponsorship and partners in this amazing race.
The full story of Joe Harris' campaign and sponsorship opportunities for the Portimao Global Ocean Race is at www.gryphonsolo.com.
The yacht carries the latest high-tech electronics and communications equipment, allowing the skipper to not only sail competitively, but also to stay in touch with sailors, sponsors and the media from anywhere on earth.
Future plans for Joe and his Open 50 include the 2008 Newport Bermuda Race, and the 2008/09 Portimao Global Ocean Race (www.portimaoglobaloceanrace.com ) a solo, 'round the world race starting in Portimao, Portugal with stops in South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil, Charleston South Carolina and the finishing back in Portimao.
The Gryphon Solo Global Ocean Classroom will be a unique opportunity to reach young children with the great story of this adventure and the waters round the world. The Global Ocean Classroom curriculum will be available to schools and individual students and their parents for the September to June 2008-09 academic year, and will follow Harris and a courageous fleet of solo sailors as they battle the elements, their competitors and themselves over 30,000 miles of open ocean.
This will be an animated global adventure that will see students caught up in a unique learning experience as the adventure unfolds before their very eyes. They'll enjoy tracking the PGOR fleet daily via the Internet visiting faraway places once touched by the legendary Captain Joshua Slocum, the first sailor in history to complete a solo circumnavigation, over 100 years ago
Joe and Team GS are actively seeking sponsorship for this sailing adventure, complemented by a branded education program as well as a post-race speaking and promotional tour.
For information about Joe Harris and the Gryphon Solo program and sponsorship opportunities go to www.gryphonsolo.com.