Soldini Conquers New York-San Francisco Clipper Route Record

On Saturday, February 18, Italian skipper Giovanni Soldini and eight crewmembers aboard the VOR70 Maserati celebrated a record-smashing victory after sailing from New York to San Francisco in just 47 days, 42 minutes and 29 seconds.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

On Saturday, February 16, Italian skipper Giovanni Soldini and eight crewmembers aboard the VOR70 Maserati celebrated a record-smashing victory after sailing from New York to San Francisco in just 47 days, 42 minutes and 29 seconds. They’d been sailing since December 31, 2012, on a mission to defeat the previous monohull record of 57 days and 3 hours, set by Yves Parlier aboard Aquitaine Innovations in 1998.

Maserati’s journey followed the clipper route, also known as “the Golden Route,” a historical 13,225 nautical mile journey that begins in New York, rounds Cape Horn and ends in San Francisco. The route was heavily traveled during the Gold Rush in the late 1800s and has become a coveted record challenge for both multihull and monohull sailors.

While light winds and spouts of hunger plagued the last 500 miles of Maserati’s journey, Soldini and his crew managed to maintain high spirits. Seventy miles from the finish, Soldini reported, “The wind keeps changing in direction and intensity, so it’s impossible to make a forecast. Aboard everything is fine; we try to keep our hunger at bay.”

Overall, Maserati suffered mild damage during the trip, with the most drastic repairs involving three bent aluminum stern stanchions, cracks in the rudder roll bar and damaged batten pockets. On January 24, Soldini reported that the batten pocket rips in the upper part of the mainsail “caused a hole in the mast.”

The Italian skipper describes this adventure as a “dream come true,” and is proud to have set a new record. “We are happy!” said Soldini. “The Golden Route is an historic record, a very important and challenging one. Maserati proved to be a powerful boat, a technological and reliable one. The crew has been extraordinary, [and] everyone was prepared to face even the hardest situation.” 

Photos by Bjoern Kils

Related

NewBoatsTwitter

New Boats: A Mix of Speed and Smarts

While it’s safe to say that U.S. production boatbuilding is a shadow of its former self, one North American company that is still going strong is Rhode Island-based J/Boats. Not only that, but far from just surviving, the company continues to push the envelope, ...read more

01-LEAD-170914_JR_WCSEnoshima19_327556_0704

Enoshima Japan Olympics

If experience has a tone, it would sound like three-time Olympian and 470 sailor Stu McNay—steady, measured, with a positive, almost Mr. Rogers feeling. “Each Game has a unique flavor,” he says, the day before last spring’s 470 European Championships, one of the rare events he ...read more

Amel50-2048x

Boat Review: Amel 50

It is possible to cross an ocean in almost anything that will float, just as you could cross the United States on anything with wheels. But to voyage safely, swiftly and comfortably calls for a good deal more than the minimum. That’s where bluewater specialist Amel comes into ...read more

01-LEAD-lagoon46-ncz4503-a3

10 Places to Cruise With a Catamaran

Navel gazing doesn’t get much better than from the deck of a sailboat anchored somewhere exotic. You can think great thoughts staring up at the stars from a South Seas anchorage. It’s also better doing so on a catamaran. Full confession: I’m a cat convert, a cat evangelist if ...read more

Radome

Ask SAIL: Some Random TLC

Q: I recently removed my radar’s white radome, which covers the internal rotating antenna. I gave the radome a light sandblasting to clear it of years of grime and discoloring. Should I paint it, too? — B. Anderson, Aberdeen, MD GORDON WEST REPLIES Stop! First, make sure the ...read more

L42-Sea-Trails-3728

Boat Review: Leopard 42

Sticking with its proven design formula, but also cherry-picking popular features from its recent models, Leopard Catamarans has launched a “best of” package with this new boat that sold nearly 30 units before hull #1 even touched water. Like a greatest hits album, the Leopard ...read more

01-LEAD-Cut8

Know how: Reinforcing Engine Stringers

If I were to ask, “What are the top five parts of the engine you want to be able to easily access?” How would you respond? Would it be the dipstick? The overflow coolant? I’d wager the raw water pump and its impeller would also make the list. Am I right? The reason we want to be ...read more

Sail-VOE-4-a

Experience: Under the Eyes of the Bar Bunch

Sitting quietly at the bar of a local yacht club, I gaze out over a rambunctious Lake Michigan on a sunny but blustery spring afternoon. I am enjoying watching a small sloop approaching the marina and recognize it as belonging to one of our newest members. “Pretty little thing. ...read more