Chinese sailor vying for Pacific record

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A Chinese sailor who already holds two world records is aiming to set another. 

Guo Chuan, from the coastal Chinese city of Qingdao, left San Francisco on Tuesday aboard the super trimaran Qingdao China for Shanghai. He hopes to cover the 7,000 nm in 18 days to establish a new solo nonstop trans-Pacific world record. 

Giovanni Soldini and his crew on board the turboed VO70 Maserati set the current speed record of 21 days in 2015, according to a news release. Guo hopes to establish the first solo nonstop trans-Pacific world record for the San Francisco to Shanghai route. 

 “We have been working hard for the past two weeks to refit the boat and finally today I am going to set sail,” Guo said before departing, according to a news release. “I am pleased that Qingdao is fully prepared. I am very confident to go now. See you in Shanghai within 20 days.”

Renowned sailor Peter Hogg, who in 1992 broke French sailor Eric Tabarly's trans-Pacific record from San Francisco to Tokyo by finishing in 34 days 6 hours aboard the aboard the 40-foot trimaran Aotea, visited with Chuan before his departure. Hogg, who still lives around San Francisco, also saw Chuan off. 

Under sunny skies, Guo steered Qindao toward the official start at the Golden Gate Bridge. At 14:24:11 local time (22:24:11 GMT), the World Sailing Speed Record Council officially declared the start of Guo Chuan’s solo nonstop voyage. 

As of Monday, Oct. 24, roughly five days, 17 hours into the voyage, Guo was making about 15.6 knots and had traveled more than 2,210 nm. At that pace he was about 431 nm ahead of the record place. 

Guo set the 40-ft solo nonstop circumnavigation world record set in 2013 and the Arctic Ocean Northeast Passage non-stop sailing world record set in 2015. 

According to the press release, his record-setting attempt from the U.S. to China is intended to spread a message of Chinese-American friendship and promote sailing and cultural exchange between the two superpowers.  

For more information on Guo's voyage, or to chart his progress, visit his website.

By Ocean Navigator