Gryphon Solo crossed the finish line at 6:45 ATD this morning in Halifax, NS, after a long and painful, light air, upwind race. These conditions did not suit the big red boat, as we much prefer to crack the sheets and run before the wind and there was none of that to be had this entire race. In fact, our major weapon, the canting keel, which is normally deployed on the upwind side to flatten the boat out, was most often deployed to the leeward side in this race, to induce heel and reduce wetted surface. Wind speeds of 4 to 8 knots and variable direction but mostly from the direction we wanted to go made for some long watches and the need for patience.
So, the long and short of it is that we tried our best but this was just not our optimal conditions and we just need to be happy that we finished in a reasonable amount of time. Perhaps I used up all my lucky wind cards in the Bermuda 1-2. There are many boats still out there with many miles still to go and not a lot of wind in the forecast, so I guess we should count our blessings to be finished. Congratulations to Blue Yankee, the new Reichel-Pugh 66' footer that showed some serious upwind wheels in this race and was first to finish by a wide margin.
We are now at the dock of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and have just cleared Canadian customs and passed the post-race safety inspection so it is time for liquid breakfast and a nap. Team Gryphon Solo will be preparing for a quick turnaround and delivery back to Newport departing tomorrow.
My best wishes go out to all race boats still at sea for some wind to appear and fast passage to the finish line.