The Skipper

"The GryphonSolo2 Campaign is the culmination of many years of planning. I feel very lucky to be on the verge of achieving my long-held dream of sailing solo around the world.   I have always been inspired by the following quote from Teddy Roosevelt from his famous "Man in the Arena" speech at the Sorbonne, Paris France, April 23, 1910:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;  who spends himself in a worthy cause;  who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat." 

- JOE HARRIS - GryphonSolo2 Skipper

Joe grew up sailing on Long Island Sound, being mentored by his father, Woody Harris and his grandfather Hans Rozendaal, both experienced offshore racing sailors.  "Salt water was in the blood", as they say.   After graduating from Brown University in 1981, Joe spent the next seven years as a boat builder in New England during the winters and commercial fisherman in the summers in Bristol Bay, Alaska.   Joe's first sailboat was a 35' wooden hull sloop designed and built in England called "Corus".  Joe sailed offshore frequently in his twenties-  racing to Bermuda and delivering boats to and from Europe and the Caribbean, before buying a C&C 40 he named "Shiva".  Joe migrated to double-handed sailing aboard Shiva, initially racing with his father, and ultimately sold "Shiva" to purchase the Aerodyne 38 "Gryphon", which he campaigned aggressively.  Joe sailed in numerous Newport-Bermuda, Marblehead-Halifax and Bermuda 1-2 races aboard Gryphon during the five years he owned the boat.   

In 2004 Joe purchased an all-carbon Finot-Conq designed Open 50 that he named "GryphonSolo" with the intent of doing more international racing.   Joe competed in the single-handed Transat race in 2004 from Plymouth, England to Boston, MA, finishing second in a time of 16 days.  In 2005, Joe sailed in the Transat Jacque Vabre race double-handed with Josh Hall from LaHavre, France to Salvador, Brazil, taking first place in the 50' class in 17 days.  In 2006, Joe took first place in the Open Division of the Newport-Bermuda Race and in 2007 took first place overall and set a new course record in the Bermuda 1-2 race.  Joe sold the open 50 in 2009. 

In 2011, Joe purchased an Akilaria RC 2 Class 40 named "GryphonSolo2".  He raced in the Normandy Channel Race with Josh Hall in May 2011 and came seventh.  He then competed in the Rolex Fastnet race in August, but had to retire due to sail damage.    

With 4 trans-Atlantic crossings, 9 Newport-Bermuda races, 5 Marblehead to Halifax races, 5 Bermuda 1-2 races, 2 Atlantic Cups and numerous international miles sailed, Joe has logged over 60,000 offshore ocean miles, while owning 5 boats over a span of 30 years. 

Joe is married to his wife Kimberly and they have three children (Griffin- 14, Emmett- 8 and Sophie Grace-5) and live in South Hamilton, MA.  He is involved in real estate investment, development and project management when not sailing.