Soldini sets off on San Francisco to Shanghai passage
Published on May 9th, 2015
San Francisco, CA (May 9, 2015) – The Volvo Open 70 Maserati led by skipper Giovanni Soldini (ITA) have set off at 18:52:50 local time (1:52:50 GMT May 10) in an attempt to establish a good reference time on the old 7,315-mile Tea Clipper route between San Francisco-Shanghai.
A 15-knot north/north-westerly wind was blowing and a light fog hung in the cool evening air as Maserati glided beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and began her passage across the Pacific Ocean separating American and China.
Aside from Soldini, also aboard Maserati is an international crew of eight: Italians Guido Broggi, Andrea Fantini, Francesco Malingri and Marco Spertini; German sailor Boris Herrmann; Jianghe “Tiger” Teng of China; Spaniard Oliver Herrera Perez; and Swede Andreas Axelsson.
The passage will be monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, which does not have a recorded record of the route.
The old Tea Clipper trade route between San Francisco and Shanghai runs parallel to the more classic London-Hong Kong route. The Tea Clipper route was plied in the mid-1800s by the most modern and adventurous clippers of the day which competed to set faster and faster times. The fastest of all proved to be Swordfish which, in 1853, covered the distance in 32 days and 9 hours at an average of 225 miles per day.
“We decided to cast off today because we really didn’t have any other option,” Soldini. “Over the next two days, a huge depression will form in the Pacific and the high pressure area that is currently delivering some great trade winds will peak with the result that the first 1,000 miles off San Francisco will be completely becalmed. So we have to get through that area as quickly as possible and into a zone with more stable, prevailing trade winds that should push us past the Hawaii Islands and then on to Shanghai”.
Updates with video footage and still photographs from the boat and a chart showing Maserati’s position can be found at www.maserati.soldini.it