After 16 days, 1 hour and 37 minutes of navigation, Maserati, Multi 70 skippered by Giovanni Soldini, rounded Cape of Good Hope at 12.20 UTC.
After a night spent fighting with light winds, the arrival in South Africa occurred a few hours earlier, at dawn, near Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the African continent. By geographical agreement it marks the limit between the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.
Just after they rounded Cape Agulhas, Giovanni Soldini and the other four crew members (Guido Broggi, Sebastien Audigane, Oliver Herrera Perez and Alex Pella) found a favourable wind to round Good Hope, not just a symbolic turn halfway between Hong Kong and London.
“It’s a beautiful day; it’s sunny and windy. We are very happy to get here, over halfway, in 16 days. Excellent average, excellent navigation, excellent boat, excellent crew. We hope to continue like this,” Soldini says.
In 2008 Lionel Lemonchois and his crew, who currently hold the Hong Kong-London record, sailed for 21 days before passing Cape of Good Hope.
Now, the South Atlantic crossing has begun. There are 3,000 nautical miles from Good Hope to the equator. In the coming days, the weather situation should allow Maserati to take advantage of a southerly steady wind to sail fast up to the north off the western coast of Africa and reach the range of south-eastern trade winds starting from 20 degrees south.
There are still more than 6,000 nautical miles up to London.
Soldini and crew left Hong Kong last January 18th, to beat the record set in 2008 by Lionel Lemonchois on board the 100 footer maxi catamaran Gitana 13 (41 days, 21 hours and 26 minutes). T
the 21.20 metre trimaran Maserati Multi70 must cut the finish line under the Queen Elizabeth II bridge over the River Thames before 1 March.
The challenge is supported by Maserati, the main sponsor that gives the name to the trimaran and Aon as co-sponsor, along with the official supplier for the clothing, Ermenegildo Zegna. A special thanks also to Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. and Contship Italia Group.