It is count down time for Stanley Paris and Team Lyman-Morse as we make final preparations to Kiwi Spirit for Paris’ record breaking attempt of the solo round the world record in a cruising boat. Paris will set sail for St. Augustine, Florida from Thomaston. He will start the conquest from St. Augustine November 30th.
The public is invited to the send off at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. Expected date and time is high noon Monday, September 30th. Please contact the yard to confirm 207-354-6904 or check their Facebook page.
Here is a video of the mast stepping: http://youtu.be/RLnEecroj0k
A lot has happened in the two years since Paris started his pursuit. In the past year, two of the four records that Paris had on his list have been challenged and perhaps broken. The first of these is the oldest person for a non-stop and non-assisted circumnavigation. It was 56-year-old Dodge Morgan, but now it’s Jean Socrates, a UK citizen and resident of Canada, who after 25,000 miles and 259 days at sea, at the age of 70, has become the oldest person to sail solo around the world non-stop. Paris at 76 will be older.
And then the speed record was possibly broken in what could be called a cruising boat when Guo Chan, a Chinese citizen, completed the voyage in 137 days breaking the 150-day record of Dodge Morgan earlier this summer. There is some question with this record, as he sailed from China and back and, like Jean Socrates, did not do the traditional passing under all five capes. Regardless, Paris now intends to do it in 130 days or less.
Here are the records he is attempting to break:
Since Kiwi Spirit, hull 1 of the Paris 63 designed by Farr Yacht Design, was launched November 2012, Paris has won line honors during the 2013 Bermuda One Two. The demanding 630-mile race from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda began with being the first to finish the solo leg by some six hours. For both the boat and the sailor it was their first “serious” race. Twenty-three boats started but only sixteen finished. One developed a loose keel and the captain was rescued before the boat sunk. The others turned back because of the heavy weather, but Kiwi Spirit plowed on, remaining on course for a comfortable line-honors victory. On the return leg, Dr. Paris was accompanied by his son, Alan, a 1995 veteran of the event and who subsequently went on to enter and complete the 2002 “Around Alone” circumnavigation. At the finish line off Newport, Kiwi Spirit, a true performance cruiser, was some eight and a half hours ahead of the second place finisher, Resolute.
"I have to be very satisfied with the outcome," said Paris. “It is my first single and double-handed race, and while I made a bunch of mistakes that caused delays in sail handling, and sometimes the wrong choices of sails, I am learning with each decision. I am quite confident that Farr Yacht Design drew what I wanted and that Lyman-Morse built a strong and reliable yacht. I have confidence in both and that is critical when you are pushing the limits as I and we did in this event."
Next up was the 363-mile Marblehead to Halifax Classic. This annual race is designed for heavily crewed boats. Paris and Kiwi Spirit double-handed this race and were pleased with the outcome. “Some have as many as 16 crew members on board, and those that came in before us had on average some eight to twelve crew members,” said Paris. “So we did very well with just two of us to come in 14th place. The next boat with only two crew members is yet to finish, eight hours after we finished.”
Since then Kiwi Spirit has been at Lyman-Morse to prepare for the circumnavigation. Kiwi Spirit has had her insides cleaned out, resulting in more space to handle sails and gear and just as importantly, to reduce her weight by several hundred pounds. Beds, toilets, pots and pans, clothing, drawers and doors are all going into storage. The mast and rigging have been removed and inspected for wear and tear. Ditto for the keel and the sails. Another round of sea trials will begin next week and then Paris will sail to St. Augustine arriving mid-October. In those last six weeks before departure, Paris plans to sail about three to four days a week to practice different maneuvers and techniques. With ten days to go Paris will provision the boat and host several receptions for those who wish to see the boat in its "battle" configuration.
Thanksgiving weekend, Paris will leave on Saturday, November 30th on the high tide at 4:00pm. For more info: go to http://www.lymanmorse.com/boatDetails.php?boatID=81 or http://stanleyparis.com/