Maserati's Bow (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati's Bow (Photo by George Bekris)

Giovanni Soldini and Maserati set the new record of the Golden Route
New York-San Francisco in 47 days, 0 hours, 42 minutes and 29 seconds
Maserati crossed the finish line at h 18 31′ 59” GMT

It’s a record! 47 days, 0 hours, 42 minutes and 29 seconds to sail from New York to San Francisco crossing Cape Horn. Giovanni Soldini and Maserati’s team crossed the finish line under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge at 18h 31′ 59” GMT (19h 31′ 59” Italian time, 10h 31′ 59” local time), establishing a new record time reference of the Golden Route, in the monohull category.

“We are happy! – says Soldini – The Golden Route is an historic record, a very important and challenging one. Now it will bear the colours of the Italian flag. Maserati proved to be a powerful boat, a technological and reliable one. The crew has been extraordinary, everyone was prepared to face even the hardest situation.  I want to thank all my companions in this adventure and to thank also all my partners, Maserati, BSI and Generali who allowed all of us to make our dream come true”.

Giovanni Soldini and a crew of eight sailors left New York at 17h 49’ 30” GMT of December 31, 2012 aboard Maserati, to challenge the New York-San Francisco record.

The challenge is being sponsored by Maserati as main partner and inspiration for the boat’s name, by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and by Generali itself as co-sponsor.
Suppliers for the attempt include Vodafone Italia, Bulgari, Official Time Keeper, Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A., Eataly e Great Circle.

At http://maserati.soldini.it you can follow Giovanni Soldini and his team’s navigation from New York to San Francisco almost live, 24 hours a day: videos and photos sent from aboard, news and comments form the crew members. At Cartography page, the position of Maserati is updated every hour to experience the challenge of Soldini and his team surfing from home.

NEW YORK – SAN FRANCISCO RECORD STORY
The 13225 nautical miles that separate New York from San Francisco via Cape Horn, are an historic route, widely travelled by clippers that were involved in the goldrush starting from the second half of 1800. The best result of the time was set in 1854 by Flying Cloud, exceptional vessel from the Boston shipyards, that reached San Francisco in 89 days and 8 hours, a record that stood for more than 130 years.
After several attempts by many boats, the 60-foot Thursday’s Child of Warren Luhrs arrived in San Francisco after 80 days and 20 hours in 1989. In 1994, Isabelle Autissier aboard Ecureuil Poitou took 62 days and 5 hours. Then, in 1998, Yves Parlier on board Aquitaine Innovations has dropped to 57 days, 3 hours, 2 minutes. This is the reference record for Giovanni Soldini and his crew who will try to beat it aboard the VOR70 Maserati, from the second half of December 2012.
The overall record in the multihull category belongs to Lionel Lemonchois that made thejourney in 43 days and 38 minutes aboard Gitana 13 in 2008.

The challenge is being sponsored by Maserati as main partner and inspiration for the boat’s name, by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and by Generali itself as co-sponsor.

MASERATI
Maserati’s support and participation in this majorItalian challenge in sport and technology confirms the company’s role as a world ambassador for that level of excellence for which Italy is universally known.  Maserati gives zealous expression to that excellence every day in 65 countries worldwide, through successful high-quality cars like the Quattroporte, GranTurismo and GranCabrio. The performance of Maserati cars on the road matches that of Giovanni Soldini and Maserati on water.

BSI and Generali
BSI is one of Switzerland’s oldest banks andspecialises in private wealth management through top flight global management. BSI is a fully controlled member of the Generali Group, and fields a presence on all major international financial markets, especially in Europe, Asia and Latin America. 

Generali is one of the world’s largest international insurance groups with offices in over 60 countries. The group boasts a robust footprint in Europe, EEC member states, Asia and Latin America, serving over 70 million customers. The Generali Group is a European leader in life insurance with assets of over 400 billion euros.

Suppliers for the attempt include Vodafone Italia, responsible for providing telecommunication services and developing the official website, official time keeper Bulgari, and Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. producers of the special paints and enamels used on the hull.

Maserati is also sponsored by Eataly, suppliers to the boat’s galleyBeta Utensili, who have provided all the professional tools, Corderia Lancelin, supplier of the special ropes and cables, FPT Industrial for technical assistance with the engines, Jeppesen for the cartography, B&G Navico for technical assistance with on-board instrumentation, Cantiere Picchiotti of La Spezia, home of Maserati on dry land, and the Port of La Spezia, home of Maserati when at sea.

Maserati Crew On Deck Heading For Newfoundland (Photo courtesy of maserati.soldini.it)

Maserati Crew On Deck Heading For Newfoundland (Photo courtesy of maserati.soldini.it)

Giovanni Soldini and his team ready to face winds of 25-30 knots

 One day and 6 hours after crossing the starting line in front of Ambrose Light, in the bay of New York, Maserati is sailing at 20 knots toward Newfoundland. Last night went by without any problems on board but with many wind shifts caused by thunderstorms. In the past hours the wind has increased, reaching an intensity of 25-30 knots. This has allowed Maserati to sail even faster and to gain miles on the “virtual” race with Mari Cha IV, currently the world record holder of the monohull speed record from New York to England. The mapping online  shows Maserati‘s position along with Mari Cha IV’s historic sail in 2003.

Tomorrow morning Maserati expects to reach the southeastern coast of Newfoundland, a critical area due to the floating icebergs and the strong winds (30 knots are expected). Cape Race, at the southeastern tip of Newfoundland, is known for its dense fog, rocky coast and the Cape Race lighthouse which was in communication with the captain of the Titanic immediately before the great ship hit an iceberg and sank.

Giovanni Soldini, on board of Maserati, writes: “I am very pleased with the new crew that is getting along really well, more than I expected. Just after a few hours, it looked like we had been sailing together for years! We have finally caught the wind we were expecting and we are keeping a southern route so that when the wind increases we will be able to move quickly east. Heading north will be easier this way. I hope we don’t come across too many floating icebergs tomorrow.”

 American navigator and watch leader Brad Van Liew adds: “Life on board is getting chilly and it is wet, but nothing like when we will sail through the North Atlantic cocktail in a couple days.”

 

Maserati at North Cove, NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

Maserati at North Cove, NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

After a one month long stand-by, Maserati is likely to set sail between 10:00 p.m. this evening and 3:00 a.m. tomorrow morning local time from the North Cove Marina in New York City. The goal is for Giovanni Soldini and his international team is to break the monohull sailing record from the Ambrose Lighthouse in New York to Lizard Point off the south west coast of England.

They are challenging a record set in 2003 by Robert Miller’s monohull Mary Cha IV – 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds. The 140-foot Mary Cha IV covered the 2,925 miles of the route at an average speed of 18.5 knots with 24 crew on board. Maserati, measuring 70-feet and with 8 crew on board is facing the daunting task of beating the record time of a racing yacht twice as large with three times the manpower. The extensive offshore experience on board Maserati might trump the larger yacht and team if the weather cooperates.

Giovanni Soldini in NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

Giovanni Soldini in NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

“The low pressure approaching finally seems to be the right one,” explains Giovanni Soldini. “This evening we will make the final decision, but I hope that the last weather forecasts will be confirmed. At the start we are expecting 25 – 30 knots of southerly winds and some thunderstorms. We will be departing just ahead of a cold front that will be coming through the New York area tomorrow morning.”

American crew member Brad Van Liew adds, “We are going to grab onto the eastern side of the front, and ride it as far as we can across the North Atlantic. The three major challenges will be the unpredictable thunderstorms out of New York, the large area of icebergs south and east of Nova Scotia with strong winds and a water temperature of 2.4 degrees Celsius, and another area of uncertain weather near the finish line.”

There have been some changes in Maserati’s crew: French sailors Sebastien Audigane and Ronan Le Goff, Spanish Javier de la Plaza and British Tom Gall have joined the crew to replace some members of the team that are taking part in regattas in the Mediterranean. On board Maserati with the skipper Giovanni Soldini, are watch leader Brad Van Liew, Javier de la Plaza (helm, pit), Sebastien Audigane (helm, trimmer) Ronan Le Goff (helm, bowman), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Corrado Rossignoli (bowman), and Tom Gall (second bowman).

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 lifestyle of crew members 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) and Twitter (@giovannisoldini and Brad Van Liew @BradVanLiew).

The challenge is being sponsored by Maserati as main partner and inspiration for the boat’s name, by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and by Generali itself as co-sponsor.

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.

Volvo Presentation  (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

Volvo Presentation (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

Italy is back in the world’s premier ocean race for the first time since Brooksfield entered the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1993-94.  Italy’s Giovanni Soldini (43) has been named as the skipper of the Italia 70 team, which will race under the Italian flag with a fully Italian crew.  Soldini has completed two single handed round the world races, and has made over 30 Atlantic crossings. 

The objective of the project is to bring together a group of companies, which will be prepared to support Italia 70 throughout its entry in the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Italia 70 has already acquired the Volvo Open 70 Ericsson 3, winner of leg five of the 2008-09 event, which, at 12,300 nautical miles, was the longest leg to date in the 36-year history of the event.  The decision to opt for a tried and tested boat means the team can begin training immediately and be as prepared as possible for the start in Alicante, Spain,  in the autumn of 2011. 

In order to create and consolidate a new generation of ocean sailors, Italia 70 will draw on Italian yachtsmen and women to build an Italian national offshore racing team, which will showcase Italian sailing talent and skill around the world as the race progresses.  The Italian Sailing Federation, together with Giovanni Soldini, will develop the first Italian ocean sailing school in parallel with the Volvo Ocean Race.

Italia 70 wants to take a fresh approach to sport based on respect for the environment. Together with a pool of contributing companies, the team will develop relationships with national universities and research centres, which will help them to test environmentally friendly solutions ranging from energy management to waste disposal.

The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly The Whitbread Round the World Race), has always held enormous appeal for Italian yachtsmen.  The first race, back in 1973-74 had three Italian entries: Guia skippered by Giorgio Falck, CSeRB skippered by Doi Malingri and Tauranga skippered by Eric Pascoli.

The last fully Italian entry was Brooksfield skippered by Guido Maisto in 1993-94. Italy’s Leonardo Ferragamo entered two boats in the 2001-02 event, the first run under the new name of Volvo Ocean Race, but both Amer Sports One and Amer Sports Too were made up of international crews.

The next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will start from Alicante in 2011.  The class of boat to be raced will be the Volvo Open 70, currently the fastest monohull racer in the world.  The Notice of Race and Class Rules will be published later this autumn and the course will be confirmed next year.