Dear Friend of CHARIAD:

I hope you saw my report about Joe Harris and his attempt to beat the record for sailing single handed in a 40 foot or less mono-hull around the world. A group of us from CHARIAD helped give Joe a sendoff from Newport. After starting his race voyage, Joe learned that another boat from Germany is trying to break the same record and left two days before Joe’s departure. Here is part of Joe’s report.

Yesterday I became aware of a new competitor out here on the great Atlantic race course and that is a gentleman named Henrik Masekowitz. Henrik is from Germany and is attempting to break the same record as I am — 137 days around the world, solo, non-stop, unassisted for a mono-hull boat 40′ or less. Henrik started from France two days before I did and is sailing a Class 40 Akilaria RC 1 named “Croix du Sud”, whereas as I am sailing an Akilaria RC2. Both boats were designed by naval architect Marc Lombard in France and built in Tunisia by MC-Tech- Henrik’s in 2007 and GS2 in 2011. Pretty darn similar boats. I believe Henrik’s web site is: and he is also on YB tracker at

So here we are- completely unexpectedly- joined on the race course around the world- but he coming from France and me coming from Newport. I think the mileages are pretty similar and we will meet up at the equator and then sail the same course around the bottom of the globe- leaving the five great capes to port and Antarctica to starboard- and ultimately around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America and then back up to the equator and then splitting paths, with Henrik back to France and me to Newport.

You can follow Solo Gryphon’s progress on Facebook at as well as at  where you can see his course on the Atlantic. The boat is currently North East of French Guiana in South America.

If you look at the position of both boats, Croix du Sud is further south and further east of Gryphon. What is missing on the maps is the weather systems. I know from the weather briefing that we got in Newport that Joe’s plan is to stay further west – closer to South America but not go near the Brazilian coast in order to get more favorable wind direction and speed for heading across the South Atlantic towards the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.

Our best wishes are with Joe on this wonderful adventure. He is a Friend of CHARIAD but I don’t know if he is seeing regular email and will see this report.

We have two other Friends who will be embarking on similar quests: Maureen McKinnon was an Olympic Gold medalist and is mounting a new campaign for the next Olympics; and Rich Wilson will be racing his 60 foot Great American single handed around the world in the Vendee Globe race in 2016. Both Maureen and Rich have been great friends and both have inspiring personal stories of overcoming their own limitations to reach the highest ranks of sailing.

I will give you a separate update on Maureen’s campaign. She can use our active support to get to the Olympics again.

I hope you are having a fun Thanksgiving weekend with your family and friends. A little indulgence every now and then is OK!

My best,