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Anglo-AmericanJames Harayda (Gentoo Sailing Team) finishes 19th in IMOCA before jury

Young British-American solo skipper James Harayda sailed his IMOCA Gentoo Sailing Team across the finish line of The Transat CIC at 15:08:26hrs local time NYC (19:08:26hrs UTC) to clinch an excellent 19th place.

After missing most of last year’s key races which were an important element in his build up to this year’s Vendée Globe because of a technical problem with the rig of his IMOCA, this is a very accomplished result with numerous past Vendée Globe top 10 finishers behind him.

Despite his lack of training and racing time on his 2007 British built Finot Conq design – which was originally Hugo Boss – the 26 year old Harayda has now completed two very good solo Transatlantic races from two starts on a shoestring budget. “As soon as I sailed with James I could see had something a bit special and so it is great to see him making good progress towards the Vendée Globe.

Considering how little solo sailing he has actually done and how little IMOCA sailing he has actually done this is a good result for him. Most of all right now he is learning to manage himself better and better on these races and he is dealing with daily problems which are such a big part of this kind of racing on a tight budget.” Enthused Dee Caffari, past IMOCA racer and world record holder who mentored Haryada and helped with a lot of his formative training…


Arrival time: 19:08:26hrs (UTC) 15:08:26hrs local NYC

Race time: 11 days, 7 hours, 38 minutes, 26 seconds

Distance sailed: 3314.30 nautical miles

Gap to the first: 3 days, 0 hours, 44 minutes and 54 seconds

Average speed (on the Great Circle): 10.86 knots

Actual average speed: 12.20 knots


James said after finishing, "I am delighted and relieved. This is a great step towards many things, first to get another race under my belt and of course miles towards Vendee Globe qualification, that is a huge thing and within the team now I now we have these things to do. I am really, really happy. It was pretty challenging, we had everything. It was a big step up from the Route du Rhum which is a tough race in itself but it is a warm race when you get south...there is a lot of trade winds sailing. But this whole race was tough. We had our fair share of challenges on board, I had a foil problems, I had lazyjack problems, I have leaks in different parts of the boat, so I had a lot of sea coming it is pretty challenging to handle the boat when it is like that, but it is about learning how to push it, when I can get away with pushing it very hard and finding the limits. I feel like I deserve a beer and a shower. I think one of the toughest parts was sailing really, really fast in 90 to 100 TWA and it was hard. I was that close to the edge, falling everywhere. I have sailed this boat in some tough conditions before but that was a nightmare, everything was soaked, everything was full of water. From a technical point of view it was bad too as my hydrogenerator broke so I could not charge and I had only 40 to 50 per cent battery and that was pretty stressful. Again, though, all good learning....."