Joe Harris: Challenging first 36 hours
Published on January 10th, 2023
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 having started the sixth leg on January 8 from Ushuaia, Argentina to Recife, Brazil.
Harris files this report on January 10, 2023:
It has been a busy couple of weeks since we arrived in Ushuia on the last leg from Tahiti on December 19.
After getting the boat cleaned up and on a mooring, Roger and I explored Ushuia a bit – mostly just eating and drinking! We did not have enough time to go hiking or take a helicopter or airplane cruise of the area, which people said was amazing.
We flew for 24 hours from Ushuia to Buenos Aires to Houston to Boston and arrived home on December 24 … just in time. It was great being able to spend Christmas at home with my family and it was more eating and drinking, with the occasional walk with the doggies thrown in. Being home and with my family was so nice… so relaxing… and I caught up with a number of friends on the paddle tennis court and on New Year’s Eve.
But the bell rang and it was time to return to Ushuia on January 3, so Roger and I did the reverse trip from Boston to Miami to Buenos Aires to Ushuia and arrived pretty wiped out. Ushuia is a very busy port as the gateway to the Antarctic and there were nine flights a day from Buenos Aires bringing people to the small cruise ships.
We worked hard for three days getting the boat back in racing form for the start of Leg 6 on January 8. I’m not sure any sailboat has ever raced down the Beagle Channel from West to East before, so I believe we were pioneers.
The scenery was amazing, with snow-capped mountains descending to the water and no evidence of humans to be seen. However, the winds are crazy – alternating between flat calm and gusts to 40 knots from random directions, so sailing through this passage is quite a challenge. These winds are referred to as “Williways” or “Katabatic” as they come down from the mountains unexpectedly and in a hurry… watch out!
At the exit of the Beagle Channel, we headed for the Straits of LeMaire, which is a passage to the North up into the Atlantic Ocean. There are large mountains on either side of the Straits and it has that Jurassic Park look with lush green mountains with white rock… amazing.
Unfortunately, we did not hit the tide quite right and the wind quit in the middle so we were actually going backwards for a while, but with perseverance, we made it out yesterday. So today we are headed for the Falkland Islands and are again becalmed, so trying to be patient until the wind fills in.
This Leg 6 is about 3,300 miles long by the Great Circle route and is expected to take about 18 days. Our destination is Recife, which I don’t know too much about, but look forward to exploring. All is well aboard GS2 at the moment as we settle back into life at sea and try to get some rest after a very exciting and challenging first 36 hours.
Note: The scoring format gives extra value to the longer legs. The coefficients for the last three legs has Leg 6 as coefficient 2, Leg 7 as coefficient 1, and the return sprint across the Atlantic to Lorient for leg 8 is coefficient 2.
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