Photo of Joe Harris leaving Newport via GryphonSolo2 Website

U.S. short-handed sailor, Joe Harris departed Newport this morning at 09:18:24 for his attempt to break the non-stop solo Around the World Record for 40-foot monohulls.

Harris is making the attempt in his Class 40, GryphonSolo2.

The attempt will be made in accordance with the rules of the World Sailing Speed Record Council, who will time the start and finish in Newport, RI. Chinese sailor Guo Chuan set the existing record of 137 days, 20 hours, 01 minute, 57 seconds in 2013.

To qualify for an Around the World record, Joe will sail from Castle Hill Light in Newport, returning to Newport, leaving Antarctica to starboard. The attempt is an approximate distance of 26,700 nautical miles. To beat the current record, Joe will need to average 195 miles per day, or roughly 8.2 knots/hour.

Follow Along

After Joe is offshore new features and metrics will become available here, including all of the photo and video media Joe will be transmitting back.

For the duration of his trip and throughout each week Joe will post brief updates and photos/videos to the GS2 Facebook Page which will also appear in a summarized fashion on the GS2 Official Website at www.gryphonsolo2.com.

Here is his first update, posted at 5:36pm on November 15th;

“Hello Friends- Well it has certainly been quite a day here aboard GS2. We gathered at 7:00AM at the boat and got things together while we waited for Hugh Piggin to come around with a very large RIB which would take out my family and get crew members Rob Windsor and Tristan Moulogne off the boat after helping me get set up. My goodbyes to my wife Kim and son Emmett were teary- no question about it, but this journey and my absence will be hard on all of us- but the spirit of optimism prevailed.

We got away from the dock cleanly- got the mainsail and solent jib up and set- and sailed down to the start line between Castle Hill light in Newport and Beavertail light in Jamestown. After a trial run to choose the right sail combination, we transferred the crew off and I sailed across the start line at 9:18:24 AM EST… hoping to return without stopping sometime in March… what a concept. I put our A6 fractional kite up, but the wind was too strong and I took it back down before I could really use it.

I have now sailed out about 75 miles out past Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and we have been absolutely sendin’ it in 22-30 knots of wind from about a 120′ true wind angle which this boat just loves- so speeds have been in consistently in the teens and a top speed of 19.2. Talk about a flying start! Its predicted to stay like this for the next three days as we head for a waypoint to enter the gulfstream at about 38N X 67W. But fast is wet, and there are a lot of waves breaking over the boat and I have been seriously doused a few times already- but luckily staying dry and warm in my new Musto foul weather gear from TeamOne in Newport- thank you Martha Parker! I have been visited by three pods of dolphins and a little bird has taken up residence in the cabin, so Mother Nature seems to be welcoming me to her world. So for right now all is good and making great progress and fingers crossed it stays that way.

I have all the sails and gear stacked to windward in the main cabin and am looking forward to spending my first night at sea on this long voyage in my wet weather gear sleeping on the sails- it will not be boring! Cheers- Joe PS- I am about to start the book “The Martian” that everyone has been raving about and telling me I have to read. I heard the movie was great but I usually like to read the book and then see the movie so I’m psyched to start it.”

Best Of Luck Joe Harris!

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.

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