San Francisco is no stranger to fashionable European visitors, but recently we hosted an especially distinguished and stylish Italian guest.
Beautiful, sleek and oh so fast, the 70 ft. racing yacht Maserati is everything her name suggests. She created quite a stir during her stay on Pier 39 among locals and tourists alike.
Tastefully branded with a variety of sponsors – I’m excited to see Bulgari – my favorite logo has to be the large and rather rakish red trident. The iconic logo for Maserati is doing double duty; it’s also signaling this boat means business.
Skippered by the famous Italian racer Giovanni Soldini, Maserati triumphantly sailed into San Francisco February 16 to break one of the most demanding sailing records/routes in the world.
The Gold Route, so named as it was the route taken by the Clipper Ships during the California Gold Rush, tests even the most seasoned of sailors. The 14,000-mile journey from New York to San Francisco around Cape Horn is fraught with challenges. Indeed, the record set in 1854 by the legendary Flying Cloud of 89 days (at that time the trip usually took 200) stood for 130 years before it was broken by Thursday’s Child in 1989. Nice years later Aquitaine Innovations bested it in 57 days and 3 hours. Maserati was able to beat Aquitaine’s record by a full 10 days, to make it in 47 days and 42 minutes, just what you might expect from a sailing yacht sponsored by one of the world’s fastest automobile companies.
Maserati certainly is a thoroughbred racer, reaching upwards of 34 knots and often sailing in reaching conditions, the fastest point of sail – and in so sailing faster than the wind. She was born of a Volvo 70 monohull, the Ericsson III, with a multimillion dollar retrofit to optimize her. The retrofit included a three foot canting keel extension, 3,000 lbs. taken off the bulb and 2,000 lbs carved from the interior. Still technology can only do so much.
Soldini and his international crew, three Italians: Guido Broggi, Michele Sighel, Corrado Rossignoli, and then Ryan Breymaier (USA), Teng Jianghe (China), Boris Herrman (Germany), Sebastien Audigane (France) and Carlos Hernadez (Spain), boast wins in the world’s greatest offshore races, including the Volvo Ocean Race, Barcelona World Race and Trophee Jules Verne to name a few. Though now based in France, Breymaier, who hails from Annapolis, MD, is recognized as America’s star in the arena of long distance international sailing racing. Prior to joining Maserati, he won the offshore leg of the Atlantic Cup and came in second in the Quebec –St. Malo, both times on Class 40 yachts.
This crew and yacht were well matched for the challenging journey, including setting sail in gale force winds and swells of more than 15 feet.
Effortlessly gliding under the Golden Gate to meet her many welcoming fans, Maserati knows how to make an entrance. We can’t wait for the next one.