'Soldini ready to tack - victory is in the sights'
Almost nothing can stop him now. An Italian sailor is on his way to break the record for the fastest monohull to sail from New York to San Francisco via the Horn. It's not an easy route, as one sails round the Horn the 'wrong way', and it has a long history, so it will be a sweet victory.
On their 45th day at sea (the record stands at 57 days and then some), some wind has finally arrived for Giovanni Soldini and Maserati's team just 380 miles off San Francisco, port of arrival of the historical Golden Route. A northern wind of 15-18 knots forces them to sail close-hauled for another 80 miles in a NW direction, before tacking towards the final destination.
Maserati's team, galvanized by the arrival of the wind which had eluded them recently, hopes to reach San Francisco in less than 48 hours time.
'If everything works out fine, we should arrive on Saturday 16 – says Giovanni – but it all depends on the last 120 miles that look rather difficult. The weather forecast predicts a wind 6/7 knots strong coming from north, but inthis particular case you never know how strong the wind will be until you get there. Just 2 knots less are enough to make the difference. Aboard everything is fine, even if we are hungry and we can't wait to arrive!'.
Giovanni Soldini and his crew of eight sailors left New York on December 31, 2012 to challenge the record of the Golden Route (13.225 miles from New York to San Francisco, crossing Cape Horn), set by Yves Parlier with Aquitaine Innovations (57 days and 3 hours, monohull category).
New York to San Francisco Record story:
The 13225 nautical miles that separate New York from San Francisco via Cape Horn, are an historic route, widely travelled by clippers that were involved in the goldrush starting from the second half of 1800. The best result of the time was set in 1854 by Flying Cloud, exceptional vessel from the Boston shipyards, that reached San Francisco in 89 days and 8 hours, a record that stood for more than 130 years.
After several attempts by many boats, the 60-foot Thursday's Child of Warren Luhrs arrived in San Francisco after 80 days and 20 hours in 1989. In 1994, Isabelle Autissier aboard Ecureuil Poitou took 62 days and 5 hours. Then, in 1998, Yves Parlier on board Aquitaine Innovations has dropped to 57 days, 3 hours, 2 minutes. This is the reference record for Giovanni Soldini and his crew who will try to beat it aboard the VOR70 Maserati, from the second half of December 2012.
The overall record in the multihull category belongs to Lionel Lemonchois that made thejourney in 43 days and 38 minutes aboard Gitana 13 in 2008.
The challenge is being sponsored by Maserati as main partner and inspiration for the boat’s name, by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and by Generali itself as co-sponsor.
You can follow Giovanni Soldini and his team’s navigation from New York to San Francisco at http://maserati.soldini.it , but you had better be quick as they're almost there!
by Barbara Sanicola/Sail-World Cruising
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1:29 AM Fri 15 Feb 2013GMT
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