Globe40: Diving deep in the Pacific Ocean
Published on December 5th, 2022
American Joe Harris along with Roger Junet are competing in the Globe40, a multi-leg doublehanded round the world race in Class40s. Seven teams were at the beginning on June 26, with five teams now on the fifth leg from Papeete, Tahiti to Ushuaia, Argentina.
After starting on November 26, Harris files this report from onboard GryphonSolo2 on December 4, 2022:
Senator, we are a long way from anywhere. This is ‘Point Nemo’ where NASA drops used satellites and jet trash. Ain’t nuthin’ or nobody around for thousands of miles.
But strangely…. I have been here before… in 2015 during my solo circumnavigation when I felt way lonelier, so at least I have four other boats around me now in the event of a disaster.
For the start of this leg, we motored quite a distance to get to a scenic location with little wind. We won the start while nosing Sec Hayai out at the committee boat (French Naval vessel) end of the line but then sailed into a wind hole.
We then had to choose the southern route between Tahiti and Moorea which was shorter, or the longer route around the north end of Tahiti which had more wind. We chose south and chose wrong and parked up for a bit before admitting our error and humbly following the fleet to the north. Oh well!
We then had three days of upwind sailing and had to negotiate through two days in a high pressure/low wind zone before being freed to the south. We have now been sailing downwind in a strong NW breeze for the last three days so life is good.
We have been flying our new turquoise blue A2 spinnaker and our lilac (purple) A3 gennaker, feeling like the rainbow coalition. All good onboard with repairs to the hydro-generator, mast lights, sails, and watermaker all working very well.
So we are steaming along at 12 knots of boat speed through a dark night with no moon visible due to clouds. Unfortunately, Roger has been feeling poorly, with a stomach bug that has lingered and caused him to feel crappy and fatigued for the last three days. But I think he is feeling a bit better today and hopefully on the mend.
We have about 1,300 miles before the mandatory gate off Chile and then another 1,700 miles to the finish line off Islas Nuevas, just past Cape Horn rock. So if all goes according to plan, we can finish and sail/motor up the Beagle Channel (70 miles, likely dead upwind) to Ushuia, Argentina and fly home in time for Christmas. Fingers crossed.
Note: The scoring format gives extra value to the longer legs.
The inaugural Globe40 is an eight leg round the world race for doublehanded Class40 teams. As all legs count toward the cumulative score, the longer distances more heavily weighted. The first leg, which took seven to eight days to complete, had a coefficient 1 while the second leg is ranked as a coefficient 3 leg. The race is expected to finish March 2023. Seven teams were ready to compete, but a Leg 1 start line collision eliminated The Globe En Solidaire with Eric and Léo Grosclaude (FRA) while the Moroccan team of Simon and Omar Bensenddik on IBN BATTOUTA retired before the Leg 2 start.
Tangier, Morocco – June 26
Leg 2 start: Sao Vincente, Cape Verde Islands – July 17
Leg 3 start: Port Louis, Mauritius – September 11
Leg 4 start: Auckland, New Zealand – October 29
Leg 5 start: Papeete, French Polynesia – November 26
Leg 6 start: Ushuaia, Argentina
Leg 7 start: Recife, Brazil
Leg 8 start: St Georges, Grenada