Maserati Multi 70 is the new holder of the Hong Kong-London sailing record. Giovanni Soldini and his team has beaten the Tea Route challenge in 36 days, 2 hours and 37 minutes.
They have done it. At 13h20’26” UTC, Maserati Multi 70 crossed the Tea Route arrival line between Hong Kong and London passing under the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. Giovanni Soldini and trimaran’s crew composed of Guido Broggi, Sébastien Audigane, Oliver Herrera Perez and Alex Pella took 36 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes and 2 seconds to cover the 13.000 nautical miles of the theoretical route between the Chinese port and the capital of the United Kingdom.
They have improved the record by almost a week (5 days and 19 hours) that previously belonged to Gitana 13, the 100-foot maxi catamaran that completed the route in 41 days in 2008. On the ground, the Italian trimaran travelled 15.083 nautical miles at an average speed of 17,4 knots.
Just after the finish line, the skipper Giovanni Soldini comments: ” We are super happy but also very tired. The last 48 hours have been very tough. Sailing in the Channel upwind with a lot of breeze, a lot of sea and a terrible cold. The record went very well, we are very happy with our route. The most difficult part was the last one: with more favorable weather conditions in the Atlantic we could have gained another 3 or 4 days, but that’s okay. Indeed it could not have been better, technically the boat is perfect. From the last time we put Maserati Multi 70 in a yard, we have sailed more than 19,000 miles and everything is fine onboard, surely there is the work of preparation by Guido and the whole team. An excellent crew”.
As we wait for the ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the organization that validates the ocean records, here is a summary of the Tea Route day by day.
Jibing in the South China Sea
After the start on January 18th (10h42’24” UTC, the official time by the WSSRC), on the first two days, the crew takes advantage of the NE wind, making a series of jibes to get closer to the southern tip of Vietnam. On the third day, a first transition with little wind off Singapore is negotiated. On the fourth and fifth day, the crew still sails with light winds to pass the Sonda Strait and enter the Indian Ocean with a two-day advantage on Gitana 13.
Full throttle in the Indian Ocean despite everything
On the sixth day, the first one in the Indian Ocean, a tropical depression localised in the South West of Sumatra is crossed.
From the seventh to the ninth day, Maserati Multi 70 sails downwind at high speed on the direct route in the south-eastern trade winds of the southern hemisphere, recording the best sailing day with 644 miles travelled in 24 hours.
On the tenth day the right hull’s rudder breaks following a collision with a floating object.
On the eleventh day, the broken rudder blade is replaced. The advantage of Maserati Multi 70 reaches its minimum falling below 250 miles.
On the twelfth day, the route comes out of the trade winds range and passes a high-pressure neck.
The three following days are characterized by the passage of three cold fronts. Maserati Multi 70 reaches the southernmost latitudes of the route, around 38 degreesS.
The Cape of Good Hope is passed on the sixteenth day with a five-day lead over Gitana 13.
South Atlantic along the African side
The South Atlantic climbing begins downwind.
On the nineteenth day the eastern option is decided to cross the Equator. From the twentieth to the twenty-third day, Maserati Multi 70 heads to West
Africa following the direct route, crossing off the Gulf of Guinea.
The Equator is passed on the twenty-second day. The advantage of Maserati reaches its maximum with 2.046 miles.
An unusual route also in the North Atlantic
An unexpected light breeze bubble slows the landing in Sierra Leone on the twenty-third day. The doldrums and a stationary tropical depression near the coastline must be passed through. The situation of the Azores high pressure remains atypical, it is quite impossible to avoid it passing to the West, the eastern option goes on.
From the twenty-fifth to the thirtieth day, Maserati Multi 70 makes several tacks along the coasts of West Africa up to the Canary Islands. The advantage remains stable around 1.200 miles.
On the thirty-first day, upwind sailing against NE breeze phase begins; Maserati Multi 70 is getting closer to the coast of Portugal.
The boat sails very fast in the second part of the Bay of Biscay crossing.
The English Channel upwind and the Thames downwind
Maserati Multi 70 enters the English Channel before dawn on 22 February. The thirty-fifth day of navigation begins between the British Cornwall and Brittany and continues towards the southern coasts of England, before resuming the tacking sequence along the coastline, with a freezing cold. The following day, early in the morning, the trimaran enters the Strait of Dover and turns the southeastern end of England to go up the Thames estuary, than the river up to Queen Elizabeth II bridge.
The finish line is crossed on February 23rd at 13.20 UTC.
To relive the challenge, visit the cartography on maserati.soldini.it/cartography.