Harris Wants Bermuda 2 Record
Got Solo Record, Seeking Duo
Dateline St. George's Bermuda:
Joe Harris and professional sailor and journalist Dobbs Davis, who currently travels the world sailing in various competitions and writing for Seahorse magazine, set off Friday in Joe's Open 50 Gryphon Solo on the second leg of the Bermuda 1-2. Joe is racing in preparation for the Portimao Global Ocean Race ("PGOR"), the solo round the world race starting in September 2008,
In the first leg, Harris sailed to Bermuda in a record 62 hours, for about a 10 knot average, but he will need to go faster than that to beat the first leg corrected time winner Frog Kiss, a Freedom 44 that we owe nearly 40 hours! If Gryphon Solo is reaching or running in 10 knots of wind or better, she has a shot. If the wind goes light and/or forward of the beam, it will be tough to win on corrected time.
"We have our eye on line honors," Harris noted. "but no one knows what the official record time is for the double-handed leg. We'll push hard to beat Kip Stone's 2005 elapse time set in Art Forms of 70 hours and 14 minutes. Nobody has told us of anyone who has done the 2 leg faster than Kip."
The 42 entries in the Bermuda 1-2 range from the mini Open 650's to Joe's 50-footer and include the Open 40 Wild Eyes, the former Velocity that Bermudian Alan Paris sailed in the Around Alone Race in 2002-03. Gryphon Solo is on her second trip from Bermuda to Newport in a month.
"Although Dobbs and I have not sailed together before this race," Harris said, "We went out for a practice sail yesterday and I could see immediately that Dobbs would quickly understand the boat and that we could work together well. He is a pro, and I am sure that Gryphon Solo will move faster with his skill and experience on board."
The start was originally scheduled fro noon Friday Bermuda time, however two of the huge cruise ships that are moored in St. Georges harbor informed the race committee that they would be exiting the harbor at Noon, so the they had to move our start back to 2:00 PM. There is a very narrow man-made cut that is the only entrance and exit to St. Georges harbor and it would not be a good idea to be in there when a cruise ship is going through!
"Forecast for the start predict it will be downwind," Harris explained, "like it was two years ago- when we had an exciting time with boats gybing back and forth across the narrow channell in very close quarters. Once we exit the cut, we must round the Mills Breaker bouy and then the Kitchen Shoals light and then it is next stop- Newport."
The weather looks like southwest winds at the start but there is concern among all the sailors that it will go light as a few weak cold fronts will pass through the course leaving high pressure and light winds in its wake.
Gryphon Solo needs a good breeze to get going and achieve the speed differential that will be necessary to get out in front of the fleet and finish far enough in front to have a chance of victory on corrected time.
For the details, go to www.gryphonsolo.com.
The 2007 Bermuda One-Two is organized by Goat Island Yacht Club, Ltd. and Newport (RI) Yacht Club, with support from the Rhode Island State Yachting Committee, the City of Newport, RI and the Town of St. George's, Bermuda. St. George's Dinghy & Sports Club is the host club in Bermuda.
"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.
"Going to Charleston for the C2B was 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.
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 .
About Gryphon Solo
Joe Harris' big red Open 50 is built entirely of lightweight carbon fiber and uses a hydraulically operated canting keel for added stability. The boat has twin daggerboards and twin rudders to provide added "lift" to windward. The combination of massive sail area, stability and light construction gives the boat tremendous power and acceleration. Gryphon Solo is a modern racing machine, capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots while remaining stable and under control.
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.