Joe Harris: Enduring the haymakers
Published on March 13th, 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 12, 2023:
We are now less than 1,000 miles from the finish line after 10 months of sailing around the world. Eight Legs, a nearly 40,000 mile epic journey. I have some down time as I am trapped in the cabin as we ride out this third blast of heavy weather as the North Atlantic delivers its final blows to Team GS2.
We again have winds from 30 to 50 knots and an active sea state with wave heights of 15-20 feet and fairly short wave period (time from peak to peak) that is keeping Otto the autopilot quite busy as we cartwheel downwind.
I was texting with my pal, Dave Rearick of Bodacious Dream round-the-world fame, about these last miles and he encouraged me to share my thoughts. One thought was that Dave was on speed-dial two nights ago when I thought we were going to get knocked down and rolled and he was going to need to initiate the rescue. That’s a lot of responsibility but Capt’n Dave is more than up to the challenge.
Dave and I raced against our Class40s in the Atlantic Cup many times and we came to like and respect each other despite the fierce competition. After Dave completed a solo circumnavigation on Bo’ Dream, he became “Captain Dave” to many schoolchildren who came down to the boats in the Atlantic Cup venues in Charleston, SC; New York City; and Portland, Maine.
Hugh Piggin and Julianna Barbieri of Manuka Sports Event Management did a masterful job of including the local communities in our Atlantic Cup racing and Dave was a key part of that bridge. So Dave told me to write more- not less- as we approach the Globe40 finish line, so I am following orders.
The other guy I am in touch with from my past is Chris White, of the commercial fishing vessel Vulcan who I fished with in Bristol Bay, Alaska for seven seasons in my 20s. Chris was also known as Black Jake, or BJ for short- his radio handle while my radio handle was “DB” for The Douchebag. We fished as a team with a few other boats sharing a spotter pilot and secret radio frequencies to find the fish.
Chris has been cruising the world on his catamaran, the S/V Tyga (named after his daughter), and is currently in the Turks and Caicos cruising with friends and my sister Wendie. We went through some crazy times while fishing in Alaska and Chris is a very seasoned seaman and trusted advisor to GS2, who was also teed up for assistance the other night.
But for now we are okay – steaming along dead downwind in the general direction of Lorient – while the North Atlantic throws its last few haymakers at us. After a squally night, it is a beautiful sunny day, with spindrift whipping off the top of the waves on the gusts to 45 knots.
We are heading east instead of NE due to the wind direction, but intend to gybe before sunset and head more North, after hopefully letting the worst of this low-pressure system go by. So we are counting the hours to our arrival at the finish line in Lorient very late March 16 or more likely early March 17.
Roger and I very much appreciate all the support and encouragement we receive from GS2 friends and family and look forward to being in touch with everyone once we hit land.
Note: The scoring format gives extra value to the longer legs. The coefficient for Leg 8 across the Atlantic to Lorient 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 – January 8
Leg 7 start: Recife, Brazil – February 5
Leg 8 start: St Georges, Grenada – February 24
Source: Joe Harris, Globe40