Twenty-one days, 19 hours, 32 minutes, 54 seconds: that’s the time it took Maserati to travel the Tea Route, that is, the route from San Francisco to Shanghai, sailed in the mid-19th century for commercial purposes by the most adventurous and modern clippers of the time. An excellent crossing time, which Giovanni Soldini and Maserati will ask to ratify to the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the international body that certifies the best crossing times of modern boats on historic clipper routes.
Maserati crossed the finish line in Shanghai on May 31 at 9:25:44 p.m. (11:25:44 p.m. Italian time, 5:25:44 a.m. local time on June 1). They left San Francisco on the night of May 10 at 1:52:50 a.m. GMT (3:52:50 a.m. Italian time) and traveled 7392 actual miles (5334 on the orthodromic route) at an average speed of 14.1 knots. On board with Soldini is a crew of eight: Italians Guido Broggi,Andrea Fantini, Francesco Malingri and Marco Spertini; German Boris Herrmann; Chinese Jianghe “Tiger” Teng; Spaniard Oliver Herrera Perez; and Swede Andreas Axelsson.
“We are satisfied, it went well,” said Soldini immediately after crossing the finish line. “Maserati proved to be an excellent vehicle as always, and the crew proved to be efficient and close-knit. Twenty-one days from San Francisco to Shanghai is a respectable amount of time. We will ask the World Sailing Speed Record to certify it. We almost always had good conditions. The first part of the route was very fast: it took us only six days to Hawaii, a great time. Then for about ten days we made good averages, always with the spi, in the trade wind. The final part, approaching China, was the most hostile, with weak winds, rains, but we expected it. There was also an earthquake as we passed by the islands of Japan. This route, which was very important in the 1800s, is still important today. The hope is these 7,000-odd miles will become a classic monohull record in the future, like the New York-San Francisco.”
The next event for the VOR 70 Maserati will be at the end of the year in Australia to participate in the Rolex Sidney-Hobart Yacht Race, one of the most well-known and difficult races in the world.