Rome, January 8 - The Volvo Open 70 Specification Maserati skippered by Italian Giovanni Soldoni was on Tuesday rapidly approaching the equator in its bid to beat the record for sailing from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn. ''The passage across the equator is always complicated,'' said Soldini. There is an unpredictable alternation between periods of calm and storms. We hope to make it quickly. Then we will start up again, heading south. The next passage will be Cape Horn''. Maserati set sail from New York on December 31 at 5.22 pm Italian time and by the end of its eighth day of sailing it had routed some 2,770 nautical miles with an average speed of 14.5 knots. The crew includes Italians Guido Broggi, Corrado Rossignoli and Michele Sighel, Frenchman Sebastien Audigane, German Boris Herrmann, American Ryan Breymaier, China's Jianghe Teng and Spaniard Carlos Hernandez. They are attempting to beat the record for the historic Gold Route established by Yves Parlier and Aquitaine Innovations in 1998 with a time of 57 days 3 hours and 2 minutes.
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