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On the way to conquer the record on the Hong Kong-London route
Shortly after the sunset in China, under a cloudy sky and with light winds, the trimaran Maserati Multi70 left Hong Kong in search of the record set by Gitana 13 in 2008. The World Sail Speed Record Council, the official organization that validates the oceanic records, triggered the stopwatch when Maserati Multi70 crossed the starting line positioned between the Tai Long Pai and Nga Ying Pal lights at 10: 43' 23'' UTC (18:43 in China, 11:43 in Italy) at the mouth of the Tathoong canal, the eastern access to Hong Kong harbour.
Relive the race!
Maserati Multi70 at full speed in the Indian Ocean with the trade winds
After a week of sailing and 2570 miles travelled the lead on the previous record rises to 741 miles
The second week of the record between Hong Kong and London begins in the Indian Ocean, under the 15th parallel South. Since yesterday, the team has been running downwind in the trade winds, at full speed on the direct route towards South Africa. At this morning ranking, 7:06 UTC, the trimaran Maserati Multi 70 recorded average speeds of around 30 knots, an advantage of 741 miles on the previous record and a distance of 4,000 miles from Good Hope, next buoy on the Hong Kong - London route.
“The first week went very well”, says Giovanni Soldini, skipper of Maserati Multi 70. “We have found a good harmony on board, the atmosphere between us is very positive. We sailed well and we also had Neptune on our side. We entered the trade winds last night around 18 UTC and we immediately accelerated. We spent the last day between brutal gales and gennaker maneuvers but we are happy because we are going fast and I think that in the coming days we will be able to make a long way.”
Maserati Multi70 at less than 300 nautical miles from Sunda Strait
After four days, they've sailed 1635 nm at an average speed of 18,9 knots and gained a 468 miles lead over the previous record.
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70's crew crossed the Equator this morning at 3:13 am UTC. After almost four days of navigation, today at 7.04 UTC, the cartography indicates they traveled the first 1408 miles of the theoretical route at an average speed of 16,2 knots. On the ground, they sailed 1635 nm at an average speed of 18,9 knots, gaining a 468 nm lead over the reference time set by Lionel Lemonchois, Gitana 13's skipper.
“The spirit is high on board. We are all concentrated and motivated”, says Giovanni Soldini, skipper of Maserati Multi 70. “Compared to the routing simulations we made at the start, we have gained about fifteen hours. We passed the worst area of the light wind bubble yesterday. Then, in order to stay with wind pressure, we had to keep on jibing towards the Sunda Strait where we should arrive in about 15 hours (around 22 UTC on January 22nd).”
“Then, after the Strait, we will have to see how we manage to catch the South Eastern trade winds in the Indian Ocean. We know the route is still very long, but ideally we get there with a lead on the record, because we also know Lionel Lemonchois pushed hard on the first four days across the Indian Ocean.”
To beat the record, they'll have to cross the finish line under the Queen Elizabeth II bridge on the River Thames before the 1st of March 2018
"Finally we are off", says Giovanni Soldini, skipper of Maserati Multi 70. "It was a tough decision because the weather situation is not ideal, but we do not see any other useful windows in the coming days. From the technical point of view, at the moment at the Equator there is a bubble with no wind we will have to cross. We hope the conditions change once we get there and be kind to us. During the first days we will do our best to stay in deep water, but there is more wind near the Vietnamese coasts, so we will try to find compromises between the need to go fast and need to pay attention to the myriad networks as well as the local fishermen who's boats often do not even have navigation lights! The boat is ready, we are motivated and we will always give our best."