Hello Friends, I must apologize, as it has been quite a while since my last update. It was a very busy summer after finishing the Transat Race in June. The Gryphon Solo team was mainly involved with sponsor fulfillment activities such as client sails, cocktail receptions, slide shows and public speaking engagements. The boat was based in Boston for most of the summer, but enjoyed a great visit to Annapolis, MD for a series of events for Wells Fargo & Co, our 2004 Title Sponsor. The boat is now safely out of the water in Portsmouth, RI, undergoing a winter program of maintenance, repairs and improvements. Our activities over the next five months are focused on placing the next round of sponsorship and improving the performance of the boat, before returning to race mode in the spring. I am envious of the Vendee Globe race skippers who recently left France on their around-alone non-stop odyssey a few days ago. Makes me think the Five Oceans race in the fall 2006 is not that far away...
We have had a few changes to the Gryphon Solo team worthy of mention. Brian Harris, who helped me sail the boat over to England this summer and prepared the boat for the Transat Race, has joined the team on a full-time basis as Boat Manager and will be with the boat in Rhode Island for the winter. On the Public Relations side, we finished our engagement with Van Liew Communications in July and recently hired Nancy Sarles from Marblehead, MA to oversee PR and assist me with fund-raising activities. Brian Hancock remains as Web Master and Communications Director, providing race analysis and commentary as he provided during the Transat. On the design and engineering front, we are working with Jim Taylor Yacht Designs and Owen-Clark Naval Architects, LLP on a variety of performance enhancement projects.
Overall, I feel we have a very talented team that has all the necessary skills to win races and provide extraordinary value to sponsors. Our race schedule for the coming years is as follows:
June 5: Bermuda One-Two
July 10: Marblehead-Halifax
November 1: Transat Jacque Vabre
June 18: Newport-Bermuda
September 15: Five Oceans
On a sad note, my father, Woody Harris, lifelong sailor, accomplished ocean racer, and Gryphon Solo team member, passed away on August 26th. Thank you to everyone who sent along condolences and good wishes and helped us through a difficult time.
So, I look forward to improving the boat over the winter and having another great summer of racing in 2005. As always, please contact us with any questions or thoughts on the program.
Skipper, Gryphon Solo