Joe Harris will sail with a crew of five aboard Gryphon Solo in the Marblehead to Halifax Race starting Sunday July 8th from Marblehead. The race is a 360-mile sprint that takes sailors straight offshore across the Gulf of Maine to Cape Sable and then up the Southern coast of Nova Scotia to Halifax. The 20 foot tides of the Bay of Fundy make the passage around Cape Sable a challenge to navigators in trying to determine how far offshore to go to avoid being swept into the Bay of Fundy by the incoming flood tide while still sailing the shortest route. In 2005, Gryphon Solo made a dangerous night passage inside of Brazil Rock in a neck-and-neck match race battle with the Open 50 "Artforms". This year the Gryphon Solo skipper hopes to be a safer distance offshore around Cape Sable!
Joining Joe in the race will be Gryphon Solo's boat manager Hugh "Junior" Piggin, fellow Newport sailor Jamie Haines, ocean-voyageur turned-solo-Open-60 sailor Rich Wilson, Sailmaker Robbie Doyle and Halifax sailor Rob Gale.
"I've just had a weather briefing from Commanders," Harris said, "and as of Thursday afternoon they predict fairly strong winds from the south west that would give us a beam reach to Halifax. If we can utilize our canting keel and aft water ballast, we can carry a fair amount of sail and have a fast ride. Everybody on the boat will find out what it is like to ride a 50-foot surfboard."
"We will be going against some bigger boats that can fly downwind." Harris continued. "Titan 12, Blue Yankee, Hissar, Alchemy, Donnybrook, Rima2 and a couple of TP52's are capable of 20kts or more in a blow. And the 76-foot Goshawk is also fast off the wind. We'll have our hands full against boats with longer waterlines, but we'll be big game hunting all the way."
Beginning tomorrow, the links to photos, logs, and tracking information will be provided at: