Italian skipper Giovanni Soldini and his crew of eight kicked off the New Year sailing aboard the VOR70 Maserati at 30 knots after departing from North Cove in Manhattan on Monday, December 31, to challenge the New York to San Francisco record.
Maserati will sail the clipper ship route around Cape Horn, sailing a total of 13,225nm in hopes of crossing the finish line located between Pier 39 and Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.
To win the “Clipper Challenge Cup,” a cup established by the Manhattan Sailing Club, and shatter the current record for a monohull under 80 feet, Soldini must complete the passage in less than 57 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes, which was set in 1998 by Yves Parlier aboard Aquitaine Innovations.
Currently, Maserati has sailed approximately 930 miles, is traveling between 22 and 33 knots, and is on track to defeat Parlier’s record despite heavy winds.
“There are 4 [to] 5 meter-long waves that sometimes we have to follow at the expense of our direction… We are wet from head to toe. Outside it’s very tough. Weather conditions predict stronger sea and winds for the next hours, then they should decrease a little,” reported crewmember Michele Sighel.
The crew consists of American sailor Ryan Breymaier, Italian sailors Guido Broggi, Corrado Rossignoli and Michele Sighel, German sailor Boris Herrmann, Chinese sailor Jianghe Teng, Sebastien Audigane of France and Carlos Hernandez of Spain.
"We are focused on our challenge, we shift at the helm, we try to live the better we can inside the boat. Everything is soaking wet and we try our best to keep the water out with buckets and sponges. Our sleeping bags are wet, we hope to dry them in the next days. We keep our spirits high [and] the team is just great," said Soldini.
To follow Maserati’s progress, visit maserati.soldini.it
Images courtesy of Maserati/Bioern Kils