The WSSRC confirms Maserati Multi 70, skippered by Giovanni Soldini, as the new record holder of the Hong Kong to London Tea Route challenge

9 March

The WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council) has ratified the sailing record from Hong Kong to London established between January 18th and February 23rd 2018 by the trimaran Maserati Multi 70 skippered by Giovanni Soldini.

Soldini and his crew, comprising Guido Broggi, Sébastien Audigane, Oliver Herrera Perez and Alex Pella, took 36 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes and 12 seconds to complete the 12.948 miles Tea Route, from Hong Kong to London course.

The Maserati Multi 70 team sailed 15.083 miles at an average speed of 17,4 knots according to the cartography.

Giovanni Soldini comments: ”We are very satisfied with the result. Even if at the end of the route in the North Atlantic he played some jokes on us, Neptune was on our side, Maserati Multi 70 and the crew delivered a good performance. Our record will not be easy to beat. “

Gitana 13 held the previous record. Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew sailed the route between August and September 2008 in 41 days, 21 hours and 26 minutes. They crossed the finish line after 15.312 miles sailing at an average speed of 15,23 knots.

 

 

23 February

Italian Giovanni Soldini has set a new, yet to be ratified, Tea Route Hong Kong to London sailing record on his Maserati Multi 70 trimaran.

The trimaran crew skippered by Soldini and comprising Guido Broggi, Sébastien Audigane, Oliver Herrera Perez and Alex Pella crossed the Tea Route arrival line passing under the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge in London today (23 February).

They took 36 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes and 2 seconds to cover the 13.000 nautical miles Hong Kong to London route.

The team broke the record previously held by Gitana 13 – the 100ft maxi catamaran that completed the route in 41 days in 2008 – by 5 days and 19 hours. The Italian trimaran travelled 15.083 nautical miles at an average speed of 17,4 knots.

Giovanni Soldini said after crossing the finishing line: ”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 terrible cold (weather). 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”.

The Maserati Multi 70 will now have to wait for the World Sailing Speed Record Council’s ratification to make the record official.

 

Continues below…

 

And they are off! 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.

 

A broken rudder and tropical depression: crossing the  Indian Ocean

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°S.

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 the team decides 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. Maserati’s advantage 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 is atypical, as it’s impossible to avoid it heading west, the team heads east.
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 gets 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 Cornwall and Brittany and continues towards the southern coasts of England, before resuming along the coastline. 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.

 

Click here to see the full route