Maserati across the Equator

Giovanni Soldini on track for New York-San Francisco record attempt

Thursday January 10th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

On Wednesday at 17:07:33 UTC, 9 days and 45 minutes after leaving New York, the modified VO70 Maserati crossed the equator: the boat is now in the Southern Hemisphere, sailing off the coast of Brazil.

So far, Giovanni Soldini and his team have sailed 3.330 miles out of the 13,225 miles between New York and San Francisco, at an average speed of 14.4 knots. There is still 3.550 miles to go before they reach one of the most difficult passages of the route: Cape Horn.

"We crossed the Equator rather quickly and we didn't get stuck in light winds," said Soldini. "However we did have a couple of hard moments. In the 'pot au noir', as Frenchmen call it, [the Doldrums] the wind can change abruptly and can become very strong in a few seconds. It happened this morning, when I was at the helm. We were sailing with 8 knots of wind and suddenly a squall almost capsized us. I just had time to tell Sébastien Audigane 'we had better ease the main sheet an inch or two' when Maserati was thrown on her side and the mast almost hit the water! Luckily Sébastien eased the main sheet and everything was fine. Now we are sailing towards the Southern Ocean."

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