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Maserati Heads for Bay, Shanghai

April 17, 2015 – California Coast


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The famous VOR70 Maserati isn't the driest boat ever built, but she gets the job done. Look for her sailing north off the California coast in the coming days. 

Photo Courtesy Maserati
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Did you see the Maserati at the guest dock?" a friend asked shortly after we arrived at Shelter Bay Marina last month. Huh? Why would a fancy sports car be on the docks of a remote marina at the edge of the Panamanian jungle? But when we glanced over and saw a tall, four-spreader carbon rig, we got it: "Oh, that Maserati!" Sure enough, there she was, the famous VOR70 that we'd last seen in San Francisco Bay in February 2013 when Giovanni Soldini and an international crew shattered the 14,000-mile New York-to-San Francisco record, originally established by the 225-ft clipper ship Flying Cloud, and most recently held by Frenchman Yves Parlier of Aquitaine Innovations

Turned out Maserati had been competing in February's Caribbean 600 Race, but had to drop out when a hydraulic failure jammed the sleek 70-footer's canting keel. So it was on to the next adventure: an attempt at breaking the San Francisco-to-Shanghai record, traveling along the route of the majestic China clippers of the mid-1800s. The current record of 32 days, 9 hours was set by the clipper Swordfish in 1853 — 162 years ago.


When Maserati arrives under the Gate this time, there won't be nearly as much fanfare as there was when she broke the NY-to-SF record in 2013. But we can only imagine the lavish reception she'll get when she arrives in Shanghai early this summer. 

© 2017 Bjoern Kils

Why the sudden fascination with this relatively obscure record? Needless to say, the attempt will bring publicity to Soldini's generous title sponsor, but we suspect that this 7,000-mile North Pacific passage has been in the back of his mind for years. When we met the renowned ocean racer in 2013, he explained that he's been fascinated by clipper ships and the NY-to-SF record since he read about Flying Cloud as a kid. In fact, he admitted to "falling in love" with the ship's female navigator, Eleanor Creesy: "She chose a nearly perfect route, with no information, no satellites, no anything."

Maserati arrived in the Los Angeles area Wednesday and will soon pass beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Once in the Bay, she'll prep for the voyage and wait for an ideal weather window before jumping off for Shanghai — most likely in early May.

- latitude / andy

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Big Numbers

April 17, 2015 – Lucca, Italy

Perseus sailing

The stylish and fast new Perini Navi Perseus 3 stretches her long legs.

© 2017 Perini Navi

Perini Navi, the Italian company that built the 289-ft Maltese Falcon for Belvedere’s Tom Perkins, is the leader in large sailing yachts. Having built 56 of them, nobody else comes close.

This month, the company launched hull #2 of their 60-Meter — 196 feet — series. Unlike hull #1, Seahawk, which has been at the St. Barth Bucket for the last two years, the new boat, Perseus 3, is a sloop. If we’re not mistaken, her 246-ft mast is the tallest in the world. It certainly precludes the boat from passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. And unlike all previous Perinis, she’s equipped with a carbon bowsprit and twin rudders.

But here are the numbers that really got us. She can set close to 10,000 meters of sail. (Our Olson 30 La Gamelle sets just over 100 square meters of sail, spinnaker included.) Perseus 3 is equipped with newly-developed Perini captive winches. The winches for the jib have a capacity of 30 tons! Furthermore, they operate at 40 meters per minute, which will supposedly reduce tacking time by 75%.

During the sea trials, Perseus hit 16 knots beam reaching in 21 knots of wind. In the case of the Perini Navis, it’s not how fast you go, but how you go fast.

- latitude / richard

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Ad: Club Nautique Open Houses & Job Opportunities

April 17, 2015 – Alameda and Sausalito, CA

Open Houses April 18 & 25

© 2017 Club Nautique

Submit resume here.

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Weekend Racing Preview

April 17, 2015 – California and Itajaí, Brazil

Blustery Friday Night Race

Puff on! Evening conditions south of the Bay Bridge can be quite blustery for SBYC's Friday Night Races.

© 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

The ever-popular 20-race Corinthian Yacht Club Friday Night Series will start tonight in Tiburon. The competitive, often-quite-windy South Beach YC series will kick off tonight as well. For a pretty darn complete list of Northern California Beer Can Series, see our online Beer Can schedule. And if you're not sure what all the fuss is about, but would like to find out, be sure to read our Beer Can Tasting feature in the May issue of Latitude 38, which will come out on May 1.

The three-part YRA Spring Series starts this Saturday, with a race out to Pt. Bonita for the PHRF boats and two races on the Knox course for select one-design fleets. Bear, Bird, Folkboat, IOD and Knarr sailors are reminded that the first race of the 2015 WBRA Series will be held this Sunday. IODs and Knarrs are sailing a modified schedule this year, while the Bears, Birds and Folkboats have a full season of racing planned.

St. Francis YC will play host to J/Fest this weekend, with 50 boats signed up. The club will run the High School Gold Fleet PCCs at the same time. Meanwhile, over at SFYC, classes with one-design starts in the Resin Regatta include Express 27s, Knarrs and Melges 24s. Thirty-six boats are signed up.

The SSS season continues on Saturday with the Round the Rocks Regatta, a Bay tour finishing at Richmond YC.

What season is it anyway? Santa Cruz YC's Spring One Design Series and Sequoia YC's Summer Series will both start tomorrow.

Dave Perry and Nicole Breault

San Francisco's Nicole Breault (at helm) and her tactician, veteran match racer Dave Perry, during the California Dreamin’ Series Long Beach Stop, Feb. 28-March 1. Breault is the highest-ranked skipper coming into the Mayor’s Cup.

© 2017 Rick Roberts

Long Beach YC will host the Mayor’s Cup women’s match race regatta this weekend. Last held in 2008, this year’s ISAF Grade 3 event is a qualifier for the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, which will be hosted by Newport Harbor YC on August 13-16. The eight skippers are: Lauren Amery, Santa Barbara; Nicole Breault, San Francisco; Wendy Corzine, Long Beach; Sandy Hayes, Scituate, MA; Jane Hoffner, Newport Beach; Liz Hjorth, Marina del Rey; Lisa Meier, Long Beach; and Shala Youngerman, San Diego.  

More than 50 boats have signed up for Folsom Lake YC's Camellia Cup Regatta this weekend. Classes include Banshees, Lasers, Lido 14s, Thistles, Day Sailers, Santana 20s, Catalina 22s, Capri 22s and 25s, Cal 22s and 250s, Wavelength 24s, and multihulls. Santana 20s will be holding their Western Regional Championships. The Camellia Cup will be event #3 of the Svendsen's Grand Prix for Lasers, and the first lake event in that series. Other interesting boats that have entered include a Melges 24, VX One, J/70, Wing Dinghy, Scamp and foiling Moth. RV camping is available at the marina, and Folsom Lake has plenty of water.

The Volvo Ocean Race has leapt back into action, with ProAm races today and yesterday, the Itajaí in-port race tomorrow, and the start of Leg 6 to Newport, RI, on Sunday. The start time will be 2 p.m. local, which converts to 10 a.m. PDT. Dongfeng Race Team has installed their new mast and splashed their boat, which was damaged west of Cape Horn — they'll be able to start with the rest.

- latitude / chris

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