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S.F. to Shanghai Record Attempt

World-record holder Guo Chuan will soon set sail from San Francisco — alone — in an attempt to set a new benchmark time for the 5,300-mile crossing to Shanghai, China.

© 2016 Guo Chuan Racing

It’s not every day that someone attempts to sail solo, nonstop, from San Francisco to Shanghai, China — a route made famous by massive tea clippers during the Age of Sail. But that’s precisely what Guo Chuan intends to do in the coming days. In fact, if you’re out on the Bay this afternoon, you will probably see his flashy red trimaran blasting through the Central Bay during speed trials.

Needless to say, singlehanding the 97-ft tri Qingdao China across (at least) 5,300 miles of open ocean is no small feat, but Chuan is accustomed to attempting — and achieving — lofty goals. In 2014, only 15 years after being introduced to sailing, he became the first Chinese sailor to complete a solo, nonstop circumnavigation, aboard a 40-ft racing sloop that wasn’t designed for such a feat. Last September, he and a crew of five completed a 3,240-mile nonstop transit of the Northeast Passage (over the top of Russia) in the very boat that now awaits a weather window in San Francisco Bay. Qingdao China is the same trimaran that Francis Joyon sailed in 2008 during his solo nonstop circumnavigation, which resulted in a new benchmark: 57 days, 13 hours and 34 minutes.

It’s hard to imagine singlehanding this famous offshore speed machine across the lonely waters of the North Pacific. But Guo Chuan is no ordinary sailor.

© 2016 Guo Chuan Racing

Last year, Giovanni Soldini and crew made the trip from S.F. to Shanghai aboard the 70-ft monohull Maserati in 21 days, 35 hours, setting the first official modern reference time (ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council). It’s worth noting that Maserati actually sailed 7,392 miles — 2,000 miles longer than the straight-line distance. 

In this and previous record attempts, Chuan stresses his goal of spreading peace through sport. We’ll let you know when his record attempt begins — likely early next week. Once he starts, you’ll be able to follow the big tri’s progress thanks to the magic of transponder technology.

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Vee Cove, Isla Carmen, Sea of Cortez. The last time Teal and Linh Goben were there, it was just the two of them on their trimaran.
The yacht clubhouse at Morro Bay, as seen from the guest dock. © What we meant to say is that the unlimited welcome mat is not out at the Morro Bay Yacht Club.