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Gryphon Solo2: The end of the great adventure around the planet

by Sirius Events 17 Mar 2023 13:25 GMT 17 March 2023
GryphonSolo2 - The Globe40 © Jean-Marie Liot

The American competitor Gryphon Solo 2 crossed the Globe40 finish line today in front of Lorient at 07:53 UTC. In 3rd position on this leg Joe Harris and Roger Junet finished this first edition of the Globe40 in 4th place. After 173 days at sea (188 with the initial delivery) and 33,952 miles traveled Roger Junet gives us this beautiful text on these thoughts written the day before the arrival when meeting the landowners and which illustrates the irresistible attraction on the bodies and on the souls of ocean racing.

"Today I feel like it's another day onboard GS2. I am so relieved we came through those recent stormy days undamaged also I feel happy and at peace. I look at the routing software indicating 420nm left - 1d 22h 11m. How exciting! There is already a huge feeling of excitement that runs through my body thinking about finishing a double-handed circumnavigation, rounding the 3 great capes and fiercely racing against tough skilled sailors on 40ft boats.

15 boats signed up for this race, 7 of us started last year in Lorient, and 4 boats are finishing. Those 15 teams had in common the same dream to race around the world but obstacles did arise and unfortunately, many competitors were unable to overcome them. It speaks loudly about how hard it is even to prepare for a RTW race and even harder to complete the race.

Joe and I made a successful team. I am proud of us, we didn't let small things get in the way; mutual respect, kindness, and great sense of humor always prevailed. High five Giuseppe! Today we have sailed 188 days and 188 nights on GS2 together, in a very small living environment with primitive standards.

A sense of achievement is rising more from human interactions, my friends congratulating us, sailor friends telling me there are thousands of sailors who desire to accomplish such voyage, and comments on Facebook or news that support us and cheer us up. I will have plenty of time to think and confirm how I feel after the race and if a sense of achievement will hit me. I was anticipating finishing with the greatest strength and confidence a sailor can find on a boat but instead I am quiet, reflective, and feeling humble. As much as I am eager to cross the last finish line there is a bit of sadness that rises in me... the race will be over.

We created a bond with other competitors and race management, we have been a family for 10 months and at 8 stops around the world. I will miss them as well as many of the beauties the ocean offers: the sunrises, the sunsets, the albatrosses, the rainbows. The stars are so unique when you are in the middle of the ocean sailing in areas so remote. We probably have been the only people ever to have sailed on that specific location leaving just a wake that lasts but a few seconds.

My brother once asked me, "Is it fun?" It can be, but challenge is the first word that comes to my mind. Why do we do it? I believe challenge is the ultimate way to learn about our minds and our bodies and pain is just a reminder of the obstacles we overcome."

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