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Joe Harris: Update from Uruguay

Published on March 24th, 2016

Aboard his Class40 GryphonSolo2, American Joe Harris departed Newport (RI) on November 15 in a bid to break the 40 Foot Monohull Solo Non-Stop Round the World Record. That plan, however, got derailed when a pitstop in Cape Town was needed for repairs to his energy systems. But Joe has carried on – here he provides an update on March 24 (Day 119)…

Greetings from Pirialopolis, Uruguay. I arrived on Tuesday morning and have had a chance to catch up on rest and get a shower after two and a half months at sea.

I am at a marine/boatyard here with a large Travelift and GS2 has just come out of the water after two days of intensive paper-pushing and fighting through red tape to get the yard to lift the boat. They asked that I get special insurance to protect them from liability, and then, since my boat is owned by a company, asked me to provide evidence that I had the authority to haul the boat.

After frantic phone calls, emails and document chasing, I found the necessary information that had to be presented to a Notary down here and verified and stamped. Whoa. Luckily I was aided by my new BFF Aldo- who translated brilliantly and navigated me through the labyrinth of bureaucracy of the socialist/military state owned country.

Finally I was able to convince the matron of the marina that I was who I claimed to be and had the necessary authority. Meanwhile, we have been on a search for a high-tech boatbuilder to make the repairs to the hull. Rob Windsor took the lead on this and found an excellent guy named Ezequiel Sirito, who is an engineer who has built and worked on many maxi and Volvo type ocean racing boats and is a composites expert.

He arrived today with all necessary materials and tools and his mate Diego and they are hard at work already excavating the broken inner skin of the hull to get the wet balsa core out and start the repair process. Frickin Awesome… What a ballclub… Windsor up for possible MVP.

So we have a long work list, but we are now armed and dangerous and ready to go to work and get GS2 fixed up and back on the water ASAP. So after a slow start and hurdling a few obstacles, the mission continues.

More reports and pictures of the repairs to follow.

Background: As a result of Joe’s 11-day detour to Cape Town (Dec 28-Jan 8), Joe is no longer able to officially break the existing non-stop record of 137 days, 20 hours, 01 minute, 57 seconds – set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan in 2013. However, he remains hopeful to unofficially better the mark. Website:


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