Joe Harris: The end is near
Published on March 10th, 2023
The 2022-23 Globe40 is an eight-leg doublehanded round the world race in Class40s. Seven teams were at the beginning on June 26, with four teams having started the final Leg 8 on February 24 from St Georges, Grenada to Lorient, France. Among the teams is American Joe Harris with Roger Junet who file this report on March 10, 2023:
This leg has been a bit of everything from a strong upwind start in the lower Caribbean to being becalmed for three days to now being pummeled as we approach the Azores archipelago.
Last night was the hairiest night of our entire RTW voyage. The wind and sea state kept building until we were in 30-foot seas and winds gusting to 60 knots. We were prepared with a sail plan of three reefs in the mainsail and the staysail (not much sail area), which worked well up to 50 knots of wind.
But the gusts above that laid the boat over hard, and caused Roger and I, huddled in the cabin, to wonder if we were going to get knocked down and rolled. It was scary. We were both thinking about life rafts, EPIRBs, and rescues.
Finally the 60 knot gusts subsided and we were able to continue, albeit still in gale conditions, but not sh#tting our pants the way we had been for about 30 minutes. It makes you think. Driving right up to the hairy naked edge of the cliff… looking over the cliff…. but not jumping… or being pushed!
Anyway, we could psycho-analyze that for quite some time, but meanwhile…. we have to carry on.
So we are still under our small sail plan and in 25-40 knots of wind as we approach the Azores and try to plot a path through that the wind will allow us to sail where we don’t bump into land (that would be bad). We are about a week away from completion of the race in Lorient and we are looking forward to that (understatement of the century).
Roger and I have been at this for nearly a year, having left Maine Yacht Center in Portland in May of last year. That is a long time for two guys to be in a 6 x 6 cabin with one bunk and a bucket and a Jet Boil for delicious freeze-dried food.
The end is near… which is timely and great…. and now we just have to figure out what to do next.
This will complete my second RTW solo or DH sailing trip, so maybe I need to find a new trick. It will all work out as it is meant to. I have many ideas percolating, that all begin with re-uniting with my family at home.
We look forward to Lorient and the race closing dinner March 19, to get really drunk with our fellow competitors and unfortunately say good-bye. It will be sad, as this has been an epic adventure.
But first we gotta finish!
Race details – Entries – Tracker
Note: The scoring format gives extra value to the longer legs. The coefficient for Leg 8 across the Atlantic to Lorient is coefficient 2.
Standings (after seven 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 – January 8
Leg 7 start: Recife, Brazil – February 5
Leg 8 start: St Georges, Grenada – February 24
Source: Joe Harris, Globe40