Maserati Multi 70 breaks ten year “Tea Route” Record

Maserati Multi70 is a new-generation MOD70 ocean-going trimaran that flies across the waves at over 40 knots in an effortless marriage of leading-edge technology, blistering performance, reliability and safety.

21.2 metres in length and 16.8 in the beam, the trimaran sports a 29-metre rotating wing mast and displaces 6.3 tons. Designed by Van Peteghem Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP) and a former member of the Team Gitana racing stable, and optimised by French designer Guillaume Verdier, the Maserati Multi70 is as glistening and grand as the seas it braves.

On February 23, 2018, at exactly 13:20:26 GMT, the trimaran Maserati Multi 70 crossed the Queen Elizabeth II bridge over the river Thames in London. By doing so, she broke the record that had stood for nearly ten years; the shortest time taken to cover the historic Hong Kong to London “Tea Route”.

She took 36 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes and 12 seconds to complete the 20,837 km of the theoretical course, maintaining an average speed of 14.94 knots (approx 27 km/hr). But in actuality, according to the cartography, she sailed 24,273 km “on the ground,” at an average speed of 17.4 knots (approx 32 km/hr).

We are very satisfied with the result. Even if at the end of the route in the North Atlantic he played some jokes on us, Neptune was on our side, Maserati Multi 70 and the crew delivered a good performance. Our record will not be easy to beat,” said a delighted skipper of the Maserati Multi 70, Giovanni Soldini.

The Milanese skipper has over 25 years’ experience which includes two single-handed round the worlds, six Ostars, and three Transat Jacques Vabres. He also holds the record for the San Francisco-Shanghai “Tea Clipper Route”.

Joining him on board the Maserati Multi 70 was a highly experienced and accomplished international crew. Guido Broggi is also a Milanese sea lover with thousands of miles of ocean sailing under his belt. He is a long-time compatriot of Soldini, with whom he has shared many adventures and supervised boat builds. Oliver Herrera Perez, the Multi 70’s bowman, is a Canary Islands native who began sailing competitively at the age of 9.

The Spaniard Alex Pella considered a “rising star of Spanish ocean sailing” became, in 2016, the co-holder of the Jules Verne Trophy. “I had already sailed aboard the Vor 70 Maserati a few years ago, then with the trimaran in the Pacific last year, but I had never raced, that’s why I’m here,” explained Pella.

Frenchman Sébastien Audigane has already sailed six times around Cape Horn, crossed the Atlantic 19 times and has over 350,000 nautical miles of race experience. He is co-holder of the New York-San Francisco record on the Gold Route, and the 2016 Jules Verne Trophy.

The Tea Route conquered by Maserati Multi 70 in record time has its origins in the China-Britain tea trade. To satisfy the ever-increasing demand for tea in England and Europe, there was a need to develop ships that could cover the Hong Kong to London route in shorter times. The fastest sailing ships ever produced before the advent of steam were the “clippers.” In 1866, a historic competition, known as the Great Tea Race, was organised with great fanfare between the five fastest and most modern clippers of the time. After 99 days of sailing, the competitors were so close that the first three ships entered the Thames river during the same tide.

The record set by the fastest clipper stood until 1990, when Philippe Monnet completed the course aboard a 60-foot trimaran in 67 days, 10 hours and 26 minutes. This record stood until 2008, when Gitana 13, a 100-foot maxi skippered by Lionel Lemoncho with a ten-man crew completed the course in 41 days, 21 hours and 26 minutes.

The Maserati Multi 70 set-off on its record-breaking journey from Hong Kong on January 18, 2018, shortly after sunset, under a cloudy sky, and with light winds. The timer was triggered at 10:43:23 UTC (18:43 Hong-Kong time) by the World Sail Speed Record Council official, the organisation that validates the oceanic records, when the trimaran crossed the starting line at the exit of the Tathoong canal, Hong Kong harbour.

For this record attempt, the Maserati Multi 70 trimaran was restored to its original appendages or “Mod mode”. “For this record, we decided to go back in a non-flying setting, above all to limit the risk of impact with objects at sea” explained Soldini. ”We have doubled the number of photovoltaic panels on board. This will allow us to gain weight and be autonomous from the energy point of view, a fundamental aspect in long navigation like this one.

On route they had to navigate through the heavy traffic and many islands of the South China Sea and the Java Sea; the Equator twice which is an area with little wind and great meteorological instability; the 5,000 nautical mile crossing of the Indian Ocean with its cyclones risk; rounding Cape of Good Hope where westerly winds and strong sea currents can be challenging to say the least; and in the North Atlantic there is the zone of calm known as doldrums.

To celebrate this historic achievement, Maserati Multi 70’s kit sponsors, Z Zegna, have created a new and exclusive SS18 capsule collection that replicates the state-of-the-art kit worn by the crew.