Francis Joyon on IDEC breaks Discovery Route Record (Cadiz , Spain - San Salvador, Bahamas) (Photo by JM Liot / DPPI / IDEC)

Francis Joyon  has made land on his Maxi-trimaran IDEC, and set a new world sailing record* for the Discovery Route from Cadiz, Spain.

With a time of 9 days, 20 hours, and 35 minutes, IDEC has beat the previous record set by Thomas Coville, and added yet another feat to Joyon’s collection (Joyon also holds the ’round the world solo record). This route is an approximation of the course that Columbus took in 1492 when it is often said he “discovered” the new world (though the Americas were already populated, and had been visited previously by other Europeans).

While Columbus’ ponderous little fleet took 70 days to make the journey, Joyon and IDEC did it in less than 10. A rather dramatic improvement, and an amazing feat even if Joyon wasn’t sailing solo – but of course he was. With little sleep, and in fact little sitting, Joyon has set the bar higher, and IDEC has further established the trimaran at the top of performance designs.

Many armchair “experts” declared last week that Joyon would not make the record, due to the fact that he hit some light air along the course. What they forgot was that Coville also had some calm winds in 2005, as in fact did Columbus and crew. Joyon made the most of what the conditions offered, and as the breezes built, he had IDEC fairly flying along as he neared the Bahamas, and crossed the line this morning.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Francis Joyon is poised to succeed his bet on the Discovery Route. On Thursday afternoon, he did more than 280 miles to cover to cut the finish line in San Salvador. After being slowed yesterday, IDEC found speeds of around 20 knots and should ultimately bring its own record below 9 days! Arrival tomorrow Friday!

Almost direct route or a little less than 300 miles to go, the maxi trimaran IDEC has found a few hours speeds of around 20 knots. After much maneuvering yesterday – as expected – to negotiate quiet areas south of an anticyclone, Francis Joyon has managed to preserve half of the advance he had known garner far, approximately 200 miles 400. This should be enough to raise that reaching the goal set at the beginning of Cadiz is exactly 8 days, ie “win ten hours.” 

The final gain will probably nearly double that envisaged since IDEC should cut the finish line in the morning tomorrow, Friday, February 15. In any case well before the scheduled deadline to improve its own record on this course in 2008 (9 days and 20 h), knowing that to do IDEC must happen before Saturday 9:21 French time. 

Below 9 days … without routing! 
“If all goes well, I get in fact in the morning tomorrow, Friday,” confirms Francis Joyon phone Thursday, “even if it takes to negotiate the final calm. Having said that, I have a little more wind provided that the files “welcomes the driver of the maxi trimaran IDEC. 

Recall that this genuine performance will be carried out in unprecedented conditions, since Francis Joyon road itself without outside help. And this road to discovery is yet more complex than the most prestigious record in the North Atlantic. Indeed, in this sense, the solo sailor is forced to deal with a series of weather systems which are linked, and therefore transition zones never easy to manage and time consuming. This is what largely explains why sailors always put more time in the west-east direction between New York and the Lizard, where – from east to west so – the game is to surf high speed trains transatlantic depressions. This record is also another program Francis Joyon this year. IDEC and is now on the right side of the Atlantic to put on stand-by in New York in the spring arrives. Another challenge … but not anticipate. For now, Joyon must complete its transatlantic journey there will be time tomorrow morning to get out the calculators!



Maserati (Photo courtesy of

Maserati (Photo courtesy of

Maserati crossed the finish line at San Salvador this morning at h 10 59′ 10” GMT.


Giovanni Soldini and his crew took 10 days, 23 hours, 9 minutes and 2 seconds to travel the 3884 miles of the orthodromic route which links Cadiz to San Salvador, thus establishing an excellent time reference – the first – for the monohull category.

Having set sail from Cadiz on 2 February at h 11 50′ 08” GMT, they travelled 4632 real miles at an average speed of 17.6 knots.


“I’m extremely pleased,” declared Soldini immediately after crossing the finish line. “We’ve established an excellent time reference, which will be very difficult to beat. The only fly in the ointment was the last night, which was really rough. We had a technical problem with the hydraulic system for the keel, which doesn’t move any more. We were all awake, and sailed with a fixed, central keel, but obviously it slowed us down. In any case, we couldn’t have hoped for a better result. We were spot on with all our choices regarding the weather, and I’m really pleased with how the boat and the crew performed.”


The VOR 70 Maserati will carry on, without stopping, to Charleston, South Carolina, where it will be completely overhauled.

After the work, Giovanni Soldini and his team will attempt to beat the 24-hour speed record.


The number of Maserati challenge enthusiasts continues to swell. 31,000 individual users to date have visited the new site



Giovanni Soldini

Giovanni Soldini

Maserati (Photo courtesy of

Maserati (Photo courtesy of

Maserati, crewed by a team led by Giovanni Soldini, set sail today in an attempt to establish a new record for the Cadiz-San Salvador crossing Maserati’s first record challenge is an Atlantic crossing of 3884 miles. Today saw the start of Maserati’s first record attempt. Giovanni Soldini and his crew of seven experienced yachtsmen set sail this morning at 11:50:08 hrs GMT from the port of Cadiz (Spain), heading to San Salvador (Bahamas).

 The crew’s ambitious objective is to set a new record over the Cadiz-San Salvador distance, a journey of 3884 miles across the Atlantic that has never been attempted by a monohull yacht before now. Skipper Soldini is accompanied by German yachtsman Boris Herrmann (navigator), American yachtsman Brad Van Liew and Spaniard David Vera (both watch leaders) as well as four Italians: Gabriele Olivo (trimmer), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Corrado Rossignoli (first bowman) and Marco Spertini (second bowman). “We have decided to set off from Cadiz immediately because of favourable weather”, explains Giovanni Soldini. “The high pressure area over the Azores has moved to a position from which it should grant us a good wind during the first half of the crossing. We can’t really tell what will happen in the second half, around 40-50 W, because the long term forecasts are simply not reliable enough. We shouldn’t find any surprises, though. We are all ready for the challenge and really looking forward to getting under way.” Spaniard David Vera, Maserati watch leader adds: “I’m delighted to be part of the Maserati team. It’s a beautiful, fast boat and we’ve got a great team. I’m perfectly at home here in Spain too. I live in Gran Canaria and the passage around the Canary Islands is a crucial moment for us in navigational terms. We have to keep south of the islands, sailing as close as possible to the coast without losing any wind.” The Cadiz-San Salvador record is being monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. It is a particularly tough challenge due to the length of the crossing and its difficulty. The main problem during the first part of the trip will be a high pressure area over the Azores and blocking the way. During the second half, the principal risk will come from a series of fronts and depressions that could slow the boat down if the pressure is too low. In the past, only large trimarans have made attempts on this record. Maserati is trying to set the first reference time for monohull boats. The record attempt can be followed live on Giovanni Soldini and Maserati’s new website ( The site contains news, videos and photos of the crew’ life on board, and provides continuous monitoring of the marine weather conditions, as well as online tracking to check the position and speed of Maserati in real time. Continuous updates are also available on Facebook (through Giovanni Soldini’s official page, with over 10,000 likes) and Twitter (@giovannisoldini, 56,000 followers; @borisherrmann; Brad Van Liew @TeamLazarus).

Maserati  (Photo courtesy of

Maserati (Photo courtesy of

A professional 8-man crew including American Brad Van Liew challenges the Atlantic Ocean

The first ambitious challenge at a speed record in the North Atlantic by Giovanni Soldini and Maserati was announced today in Milan. As from early February a crew of eight led by Soldini will be engaged in seeking to become the new record holder between Cadiz (Spain) and San Salvador (Bahamas) on board Maserati, which has been completely overhauled. Maserati is a 70-foot racing yacht optimized for extreme speed.

In addition to skipper Soldini, Maserati will be crewed by 7 capable yachtsmen with a past track record in open ocean-going regattas and in competitions such as the America’s Cup. German Boris Herrmann (navigator), American Brad V an Liew (watch leader) and Spaniard David Vera (watch leader) will make up a team completed by four Italians: Gabriele Olivo (trimmer), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Gerardo Siciliano (second bowman), and Corrado Rossignoli (first bowman).

The record for Cadiz-San Salvador run, 3884 miles long, is monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the international body that gives official status to the fastest sailing times along the historical routes once plied by clippers. In the past the record was set only by maxi trimarans. Maserati will attempt to be the first to establish the record for the monohull category. Two additional North Atlantic records that Soldini and crew will attempt to break in 2012 aboard Maserati include Miami-New York and New York-Lizard Point (UK).

“The challenge is a demanding one, given the length and the difficulty of the route,” explains Soldini. “During the first part our concerns will be with the area of high pressure blocking our path near the Azores. During the second part the difficulties will be posed by fronts and depressions which, if too low, will slow the boat down. At the same time it’s great to have a chance like this and I am delighted with the entire crew”.

American Brad Van Liew and Soldini have a notable history together, having both competed in the Around Alone race of 1998-99, when extreme weather in the Southern Ocean forced Soldini to the rescue of a capsized fellow competitor (Isabelle Autissier) and Van Liew to a dismasting.

“It is exciting to be working with my old friend Giovanni,” said Van Liew. “It is a wonderful collaborative effort and a fresh, new type of sailing for me. It takes me back to my crewed racing roots which is an exciting departure from my solo sailing competitions. I welcome the race against time.”

Those keen to have live coverage of the yachting ventures of Maserati should go to the new website which will be on line starting today. In addition to news, video footage, and photos directly from the boat, browsers can be sure to find reports on the meteorological conditions and to keep tabs on the position and the speed of Maserati.

News will be provided on the three record attempts, as well as on movements between regatta locations and the onshore preparatory work. There will also be constant updates using prominent social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, shown on the home page.

Backing for this challenge is provided by Maserati, the main partner in the endeavour, which gives its name to the boat. It is flanked by the Swiss bank  (Generali Group), and by Generali, which are co-sponsors.

The official suppliers for the undertaking are Vodafone Italia, in charge of the telecommunication services and of the website implementation, Murphy&Nye, the brand that will provide the sailing gear for the crew, Bulgari as Official Time Keeper, and Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. providing paint and enamel for the hull.

On board Maserati are also Eataly, supplier in charge of the boat’s galley, Beta Utensili providing all the professional sailboat hardware, Corderia Lancelin providing customised performance ropes, FPT Industrial for engine assistance, Jeppesen for cartography, B&G Navico providing assistance for the on board instruments, Picchiotti Shipyard in La Spezia where Maserati is based on ground and the Autorità Portuale di La Spezia where Maserati is based in the water.

Maserati Generali (Photo courtesy of

Maserati Generali (Photo courtesy of