Joe Harris: Warm welcome in Brazil

Published on January 30th, 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 30, 2023:

We finished Leg 6 yesterday at about 2:00 in the afternoon local time. After motoring into the dock and tying up, a band commenced playing festive, local music with dancers in native costumes shaking it pretty good. Roger and I were a bit overwhelmed but enjoyed the show a lot and appreciated the warm local welcome to Brazil.

Recife looks like Miami Beach on steroids. It has high-rise buildings right on the beach for miles. It looks like fun. The boat is at a marina and apartment complex that is under construction so it is a little rough, but the race is headquartered at the local yacht club just upriver and that has nice facilities.

To clarify our finish, we came in second over the finish line but then an 8-hour penalty was applied because we have changed more than three sails. With this penalty, we moved back to third place as Sec Hayai finished about 6.5 hours behind us.

The approach offered a wet and wild ride with GS2 careening through the waves with all our gear and sails stacked to windward as well as water ballast to counteract the force of a 20-knot wind on the beam.

It was a nice change as we’d been going upwind for about 1200 miles and it was getting old. It is difficult to move around the boat at a 20-30° heel angle and the boat banging through heavy seas. We had no falls or injuries, but we move slowly and carefully, generally with three points of contact, like you were rock climbing.

This allowed us to remain reasonably fit even though we were not making many sail changes. We had been tacking a lot, which requires us to move a large “stack” of gear and sails from one side of the boat to the other, which takes about 30 minutes and uses quite a bit of energy.

It got very hot as we moved north toward the equator so we sought shade like lizards. It’s hard to find a spot on the boat out of the sun and wind and spray or rain to sit down to eat or read a book.

As the trade winds came and went, we trimmed the sails and kept the boat on course and hopefully moving at optimal speed and wind angle. It does get hairy at times and monotonous at other times, so Roger and I try to keep each other motivated and safe.

Overall, we had a little of everything and squalls packing gusty winds and rain were a frequent occurrence so we had to be alert to not get overpowered and/or soaking wet. We try to take care of the boat and hope the boat takes care of us.

The finish line penalty is a bit of a bummer because I think we sailed a very good leg tactically and we also showed great boat speed in the tight reaching conditions down the home stretch. On balance, we are happy to be on the podium and look forward to racing without the penalty next leg.

We will just be here in Recife for six days and then start Leg 7 to Grenada on Sunday, February 5.

Race detailsEntriesTracker

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.

Standings (after five of eight 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

Lorient, France

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