Maserati at North Cove NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati at North Cove NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

One lone sailboat with a mix of curves and fluid lettering against hard concrete  and sharp angles of the New York City skyline.  Like the her sister automobiles she commands attention of the North Cove passerbys and probably more than one armchair sailor gazing down from the multitude of windows sitting just above her mast.

She looks hot on this chilly damp spring day.  Having lost weight since her last big apple showing.    A couple thousand pounds of weight says Brad Van Liew.   Extra weight, needless weight, weight that did nothing but slow her down from her purpose.   She was given a tuck before Giovanni Soldini, skipper and Italian sailing legend set out to break new records.  Souped up and ready to rumble.   She is souped up in her nether regions as well.

Maserati (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati has been outfitted with a lighter and deeper keel to further reduce  weight and  give her team the best possible odds at breaking the ever harder to break  monohull sailing records.  Having already set the bar for the Cadiz-San Salvado record for future attempts she is now in New York awaiting a chance at the 24 hour record and the North Atlantic record from New York to Lizard off the United Kingdom.

Maserati will challege the north atlantic record between New York and Cape Lizard (UK) a route of 2925 nautical miles passing south of the Terranova Island.

The record that Maserati must break is currently held by Robert Miller who, back in 2003, sailed the route in 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds on board of the monohull Mary Cha IV (with an average speed of 18,5 knots).

 

.Giovanni Soldini in NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

 Giovanni Soldini in NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

Giovanni Soldini and his team of truly seasoned veterans of the ocean racing circuit have a difficult but not unsurmountable task ahead of them.  Catch the most favorable system and hope they can ride it across the atlantic at breakneck speeds, that would leave most with shaky knees and a queasy stomach,  for a few thousand miles.

Now add the fact that you know you can’t slow down.      This boat has to be pushed right up to her top end and held there.  Hovering on the brink….. .  All for the glory that is saying you are the one team that at that moment in time and forever to be known as the  fastest,   above all others on the earth.   A heady endeavour.

 

Below Deck Maserati (Photo by George Bekris)

Below Deck Maserati (Photo by by George Bekris)

 

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  BSI (Generali Group), and by Generali, which are co-sponsors.

 

 Maserati crew members Corrado Rossignoli, Gabriele Olivo and skipper Giovanni Soldini  (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati crew members Corrado Rossignoli , Gabriele Olivo and skipper Giovanni Soldini (Photo by George Bekris)

The maserati crew  includes  German Boris Herrmann (navigator), American Brad Van Liew (watch leader) and Spaniard David Vera (watch leader)  and  four Italians: Gabriele Olivo (trimmer), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Gerardo Siciliano (second bowman), and Corrado Rossignoli (first bowman).

Brad Van Liew on Maserati (Photo by George Bekris)

Brad Van Liew on Maserati (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Brad Van Liew  is the first American to ever officially finish three races around the globe and the first person worldwide to win the race twice sweeping all legs of the event. Palmares: Third Place in the Around Alone Race in 1998-99, Winner in the Around Alone Race in 2002-03, Winner  in the Velux 5 Oceans in 2010-11.

 

 

Maserati's Bow (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati's Bow (Photo by George Bekris)

 

As a warm up the Maserati sailing team will set their sights on the 24 hour speed record.  A record  is currently held by the VOR 70 Ericsson 4 for monohulls.  Between October 28 and October 29 2008, during the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race,  Brasilian sailor Torben Grael and a crew of ten people on board of Ericsson 4 sailed 596,6 miles in 24 hours at an average speed of 24,85 knots.

Giovanni Soldini and the Maserati team’s progress can be followed at  Maserati Sailing.

 

Maserati Deck (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati Deck (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati Generali (Photo courtesy of Maserati.Solidini.it)

Maserati Generali (Photo courtesy of Maserati.Solidini.it)

This morning at 11.50 am GMT (7.50 am local time, 1.50 pm Italian time) Maserati reached the Ambrose light station in New York Bay, the destination point of the Miami – New York record attempt.

Giovanni and his team decided non to ratify the Miami – New York record with the World Sailing Speed Record Council, even if there still is not a time reference for monohulls. This is because of the adverse weather conditions (tropical storms, sudden high wind blasts, windless zones) that Maserati encountered during the route.

“We have decided not to ask for a ratification of the Miami – New York record attempt, even if a time reference for monohulls does not exist. Our result turned out to be below our expectations, and it does not match with the performance of a boat as fast as Maserati.

When we set sail for the record attempt we knew that the weather conditions were not ideal, but we did not expect them to be so adverse. With Maserati we can do much better than this. In the next days we will wait for the right moment to attempt the New York – Cape Lizard (UK) speed record and, weather permitting, we will try again the 24 hour speed record. It is going to be challenging but we can make it.”

Giovanni and his team on board of Maserati set sail from Miami on March 22 at 6, 28′, 16” pm GMT (2, 28′ 16” local time, 7, 28′ 16” pm Italian time).

Maserati (Photo courtesy of Maserati.Soldini.it)

Maserati (Photo courtesy of Maserati.Soldini.it)

International crew of decorated sailors join forces to set new pace for speed and performance on the Atlantic

   Italian, German, Spanish and American sailors, largely known for their independent offshore sailing expeditions, have come together in a quest to set a new pace for speed on the water under sail. The impressive collection of globetrotting extreme sailors collectively have more than one million miles of experience offshore. Italian Giovanni Soldini leads the rogue crew of eight, including German Boris Hermann as Navigator, and American Brad Van Liew and Spaniard David Vera as Watch Leaders. They set out today from Miami, Florida aboard the VOR70 Maserati to establish the official monohull sailing record from Miami to New York City.

 

“The wind directions should offer us nice downwind sailing,” said Navigator Boris Hermann. “The conditions are not perfect, but we hope to play the local shifts, the Gulf Stream and other weather details on the route.”

 

American Brad Van Liew added, “We had a fantastic hospitality event hosted by Maserati North America this week and now the crew is fired up and anxious to get back to the mission at hand: beating and setting records. The boat and crew are ready to get back up to full speed.”

 This ambitious race against time is one of several records that Giovanni Soldini and his international crew aboard Maserati will attempt in the months ahead.

Maserati Generali (Photo courtesy of Maserati.Solidini.it)

Maserati Generali (Photo courtesy of Maserati.Solidini.it)

24-Hour Record Attempt Aborted after Maserati Yacht Sustains Damage to Rudder
Giovanni Soldini and his team return to Charleston to make repairs

Last night, sailing toward Cape Hatteras, Maserati’s windward rudder was seriously damaged after hitting a chunk of wood in the Atlantic. The crew has returned to Charleston where Maserati’s rudder will be immediately replaced with a spare.

The boat set off yesterday at 1:30 a.m. local time for a 24-hour monohull record attempt. They were sailing offshore to place themselves in the perfect conditions of a cold front, which looked to be an excellent chance for high speeds. The record attempt has been postponed due to the rudder damage and missed opportunity to reach the best weather.

Giovanni Soldini, reached on the phone, explained: “It was night, we couldn’t see anything. We hit a chunk of wood with the windward rudder. Air bubbles formed along the side of the rudder: it doesn’t work any longer and suffers from cavitation. We are forced to return to Charleston as we have no possibility of attempting the record in this condition.”

The crew returned to the Seabreeze Marina in Charleston early this morning. A diver will inspect the hull and ensure there is no additional damage from the incident. The Maserati crew will analyze the weather once again to investigate another possible weather window for taking on this challenging record. This ambitious race against time is one of several records that Giovanni Soldini and his international crew aboard Maserati will attempt in the months ahead.

“We are all pretty disappointed,” said American crew member Brad Van Liew. “It is frustrating because the weather system looked like a good opportunity for the record and these ideal conditions don’t come along very often.”

The record attempt, monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, is currently held by the VOR 70 Ericsson 4 for monohulls. Between October 28 and October 29 2008, during the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, Brazilian sailor Torben Grael and a crew of ten people on board of Ericsson 4 sailed 596.6 miles in 24 hours at an average speed of 24.85 knots.

The record attempt can be followed live on Giovanni Soldini and Maserati’s website (www.maserati.soldini.it). 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.

 

 

Maserati (Photo courtesy of http://maserati.soldini.it/)

Maserati (Photo courtesy of http://maserati.soldini.it/)

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 http://maserati.soldini.it/.

 

 

Giovanni Soldini

Giovanni Soldini

Maserati (Photo courtesy of Maserati.Soldini.it)

Maserati (Photo courtesy of Maserati.Soldini.it)

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 (www.maserati.soldini.it). 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).