New York-San Francisco record bid- Maserati quick cross of ITCZ

Maserati crosses the equator after nine days and 45 minutes since leaving New York
Record New York-San Francisco
The yacht trying to best the shortest time from New York to San Francisco via the Horn has completed a quarter of the distance in nine days, crossing the northern ITCZ in quick time. The record stands at 57 days+ , so they are doing well. Maserati, skippered by Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini, has already crossed the equator and is now sailing in the Southern Hemisphere towards the challenging Cape Horn.

On Sunday at 17 07' 33' GMT (06 07' 33' pm in Italy), nine days and 45 minutes after leaving New York, Maserati crossed the equator: the boat is now in the Southern Hemisphere, sailing off the coasts of Brazil (position at 7.20 am today: 2° 44? 80' S, 34° 14? 20' W ).

Thus far, Giovanni Soldini and his team have sailed 3.330 miles out of the 13.225 miles that separate New York from San Francisco, at an average speed of 14.4 knots. 3.550 miles must still be sailed before reaching one of the most difficult passages of the route, Cape Horn, when they will be sailing against the prevailing wind.

'We crossed the equator rather quickly and we didn’t get stuck in light winds – says Soldini – However we did have a couple of hard moments. In the 'pot au noir', as Frenchmen call it, the wind can change rather abruptly and can become very strong in a few seconds. It happened this morning, when I was at the helm. We were sailing with eight knots of wind and suddenly a squall almost capsized us. I just had the time to tell Sébastien Audigane 'We better ease the main sheet an inch or two' when Maserati tilted on her side and the mast almost touched the water. Luckily Sébastien eased the main sheet and everything went fine. Now we sail towards the southern seas'.

Maserati is currently sailing upwind at a speed of 10 knots in 7/8 knots of breeze.

New York – 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 gold rush 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 21 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 five hours. Then, in 1998, Yves Parlier on board Aquitaine Innovations has dropped to 57 days, three hours, two 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 the journey in 43 days and 38 minutes aboard Gitana 13 in 2008.

You can follow their progress at Maserati New York to San Francisco Voyage