Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 trimaran has switched oceans from the Atlantic to the Pacific after a successful passage through the Panama Canal and is now on route to San Francisco, California.
The 77-kilometre (48 mile) Panama Canal connects the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Panama and is a major conduit for commercial shipping. Prior to its opening in 1914 trading ships between would have to take a much longer and more dangerous route around Cape Horn.
In 2013 Soldini and his crew on Maserati VOR70 monohull established a new record of 47 days on the “Golden Route” from New York to San Francisco via the Horn – a course originally taken by the legendary clipper trading ships during the Gold Rush.
This time Maserati Multi70 had to first negotiate a series of four sea locks that stepped the Italian boat 26 metres (85 feet) above sea level, before traversing 33 kilometres (21 miles) across Gatun Lake and into the Gaillard Cut. Another three locks returned the boat to sea level in the Gulf of Panama.
Seven crew were on board for the delivery trip which took two days to complete.
In addition to the trimaran’s main central engine the crew used an outboard engine on one of the floats to give them more manoeuvrability when squeezing into the locks.
«It was a good experience and everything went smoothly,» Soldini said. «Our boat is very wide so often there was not much room in the lock, especially when you are sharing with a massive ship. It is certainly easier than rounding Cape Horn!».
Once in San Francisco the work will begin on switching the boat to full-foiling mode for the Transpacific Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii this July.