Sailboat sets New York to San Francisco record

SAN FRANCISCO — A racing yacht named after one of the world’s fastest cars has docked in San Francisco after what organizers said was the fastest passage of a single-hulled sailing vessel from New York to San Francisco.

The 70-foot Maserati sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge late Saturday morning and tied up at Pier 39 Marina around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, 47 days after pulling out of New York City, said Judy Laws, a spokeswoman for the event.

The 13,225-mile journey around Cape Horn at the tip of South America is what sailors have said for centuries is one of the most challenging sailing journeys in the world.

The Maserati finished the trip in 47 days, two hours and 33 minutes, easily beating the most recent record of 57 days, three hours and two minutes set in 1998, Laws said.

“They beat it by a little more than 10 days. They smashed it,” Laws said.

“This is a big deal,” Andy Turpin, managing editor of Latitude 38, the Marin County-based sailing magazine, told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week. “This is one of the most difficult sailing records.”

The eight-member crew of the Maserati — led by its Italian skipper 47-year-old Giovanni Soldini — left New York City on New Year’s Eve.

Though calm winds late Friday had pushed back the vessel’s expected arrival by a few hours, Laws described a festive atmosphere as dignitaries, including Mauro Battocchi, Consul General of Italy in San Francisco, and others greeted the crew when they arrived at the dock.

“It’s just been a happy, happy time,” Laws said.

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