After passing the latitude of Gibraltar (36° N) last night, Maserati Multi 70 tacked and started heading towards the coasts of Portugal. For the skipper Giovanni Soldini and his crew (Guido Broggi, Sébastien Audigane, Oliver Herrera Perez and Alex Pella) the navigation of the last part of the route of the record Hong Kong-London is confirmed upwind, against contrary winds.
Giovanni Soldini comments: “We are only 1000 nautical miles away. With normal conditions, going downwind, we could arrive in London in less than 48 hours. However, Neptune decided otherwise and for several days we have been tacking upwind, first along the African coast, now along the European one. After the latitude of Cape Saint Vincent, soon we will be above Lisbon and we will continue to tack up to Calais, with a wind reinforcement up to 25/30 knots from the East when we will be in the English Channel“.
“We must try to go as fast as possible“, continues Soldini, “because later we will arrive in the Channel, the more wind we will have; but at the same time we have to take care of the gear and the boat that suffer more when sailing upwind. The strategy is to navigate near the coastline, in order to have less swell and current. Then it will be necessary to manage the currents of the Channel in a good way. In the upcoming days, the tide coefficients are high and therefore strong currents are expected. Paradoxically it is worse to have the current in favor and the wind against because it generates a very steep and dangerous sea. We’ll have to be very careful“.
After almost 32 days of navigation, at the 6.56 UTC rankings, the advantage of Maserati Multi 70 on the the record holder’s roadmap is 1.375 miles. There are 1.136 miles left (of the initial 13.000 nm) to the finish line London. The arrival is currently scheduled for the morning of February 23rd.