Photo: Tommaso Ausili

Maserati on code amber for record attempt

Maserati VO70 expected to leave on New York-San Fran record next week

Wednesday December 19th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

Giovanni Soldini's Maserati, is currently moored at the North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan ready and waiting for the best weather to set off for San Francisco via Cape Horn in attempt to break the present record for this 13,225 mile course of 57 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes.

“We expect the right weather conditions for the New York – San Francisco record attempt between the night of 23 December and 25 December," says Soldini. "These conditions would allow us to reach Brazil in about ten days. On 22 December a depression is expected off New York with winds of 40-60 knots. The depression will slowly move north and the winds will decrease in strength. On the night of 23 December the weather conditions should allow us to set off in winds of 25-30 knots and a high pressure that will settle just after the depression."

The New York-San Francisco record is based on an old 'gold route' sailed in ye olde days by clippers involved in bringing back gold from the gold rush of the second half of the 19th century.

At the time the fastest passage was made in 1854 by Flying Cloud, an exceptional vessel from the Boston shipyards, which reached San Francisco in 89 days and 21 hours, a record that stood for more than 130 years.

After several attempts by many boats, eventually it was the Open 60 Thursday's Child skippered by American Warren Luhrs that reached in San Francisco in a time of 80 days and 20 hours in 1989. After this, in 1994, the Isabelle Autissier-skippered Ecureuil Poitou Charente Open 60 demolished Luhrs' record, reducing the time to 62 days and 5 hours. Then in 1998, Yves Parlier on board his revolutionary Open 60 Aquitaine Innovations dropped the record again, down to 57 days, 3 hours, 2 minutes. This is the present reference time for Giovanni Soldini and his crew who will attempting to better the time aboard their modified VOR70 Maserati.

Outside of the monohull record, the overall record belongs to Lionel Lemonchois and the Gitana 13 maxi catmaran, which set a time of 43 days and 38 minutes in 2008.

The challenge is being sponsored by Maserati as main partner and inspiration for the boat’s name, and by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and by Generali itself as co-sponsor.

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