I am writing you today not from my usual position at the navigation table of Gryphon Solo, but instead from my office desk at home. As the message of yesterday indicated, my mother-in-law passed away on Saturday and we are having a memorial service for her tomorrow, so I will not be participating in the Charleston to Bermuda race set to start tomorrow at noon. The boat will be ably manned by the team of boat manager Hugh Piggin, former GS boat manager Jeff Wargo and Charlestonians Susan Ford and Hank Hofford. The C2B start will kick off the Charleston Maritime Festival, which is highlighted by the visit of Tall Ships from around the world, who will be welcomed by the recently launched "Spirit of South Carolina" Tall Ship whose home port is Charleston.
The weather forecast is calling for Northerly winds for the in-harbor start, which will allow the boats to reach out the harbor on an Easterly course toward Bermuda. Moderate breezes from the North will prevail for the first two days before the wind is forecast to go light, as a high pressure ridge moves over the race course. After that, an approaching low pressure system could bring high winds from the Northeast, i.e. "right on the nose" but hopefully the boat will be very close to Bermuda by that time. The crew will be racing to the welcoming shelter of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for a Dark and Stormy before getting pasted by a Nor'Easter! This forecast has been changing dramatically over the last three days as the weather patterns are unsettled at this time of year, so things could change again as the wind gods are fickle.
Gryphon Solo will be seeking line honors in this race as most of the competition is smaller boats, with the exception of one 70 footer and a couple of quick catamarans. The crew will be writing the daily "Skippers Log" from offshore and we will distribute those to the email list and post to the web site (www.gryphonsolo.com). I will fly to Bermuda on May 24th to sail the boat back to Newport to get ready for the start of the Bermuda 1-2 on June 9th. Beyond that, we are scheduled to do the Marblehead to Halifax race starting July 8th and the boat is available for corporate events and charter through August.
Fair winds and following seas to all-