Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

A record-sized fleet of the world’s largest performance yachts is readying itself in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for next week’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association (IMA) with Rolex as title sponsor, this year’s event takes place over 4th-10th September and has 52 entries. Of these, 25 belong to members of the IMA, the body which since 1979 has been guiding and structuring maxi yacht racing globally, in collaboration with the world’s leading yacht clubs.

In terms of length, the fleet spans the giant 49.7m Ohana to entries at the shorter end of the IMA’s permitted size range – 60 footers such as Gérard Logel’s Swan 601 @robas and the Wally 60 Wallyño.

The biggest class at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will once again be the Wallys (an associated class within the IMA), which features 13 examples of the modernist high performance luxury yachts. Leading the charge off the Costa Smeralda will be the two Wallycentos, Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet Cubed and the latest example launched last October, David Leuschen’s Galateia, plus the elongated version, (now 32.7m) Open Season of International Maxi Association President, Thomas Bscher.


Photo: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The Supermaxi class has a formidable line-up including Irvine Laidlaw’s new Swan 115 Highland Fling 15, plus two Baltic Yachts-built high performance carbon fibre one-offs: the Nauta 115 Nikata and the Javier Jaudenes-designed Win Win – both making their Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debuts. This year sees the return of Sir Peter Harrison’s Farr 115 ketch, Sojana, following a lengthy refit.

The Js are back this year. Lionheart and Velsheda will match race their way around the race track.

The Maxi class (79-100ft) will see two high profile yachts making their Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debuts. Best known for her offshore program, Mike Slade’s Farr 100 Leopard 3 has travelled to the four corners of the earth to compete in races such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Fastnet Race, in which she has twice scored line honours victories.

Despite only being two years old, George David’s Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed Rambler 88, also has notched up thousands of sea miles. This year alone she has won the IMA’s annual Volcano Race (from Gaeta, Italy, south around the volcanic Aeolian Islands off northeast Sicily) and last week claimed line honours in the Palermo-Montecarlo race, the fourth and final event of the IMA’s inaugural Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge.

The Maxi class also includes four entries from Southern Wind Shipyard, including the Farr-designed 100ft Blues and Michael Cotter’s Windfall. There are two SWS 82s: Massimilano Florio’s Grande Orazio was winner of the IMA’s Volcano Race in 2015, while Ammonite is brand new, campaigned by leading Australian skipper Marcus Blackmore.

Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship

As ever a major feature of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship. This year six examples of the ultra competitive, owner-driven, grand prix racers will be lining up, their challenge being to dislodge Hap Fauth’s dominant Judel Vrolijk design, Bella Mente. The reigning Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion  goes into this year’s Worlds straight from victories at Copa del Rey MAPFRE and the inaugural Maxi 72 North American Championship held in Newport, RI in June.

“This is our favourite regatta,” commented Fauth, who is President of the Maxi 72 Class, which is affiliated to the IMA. “There will be six 72 footers and competition will be fierce. It is always challenging conditions both for the around the buoys and the coastal race. It is normally all you want.”

As to Bella Mente being favourite for a third World title, Fauth added: “We have the oldest boat and I am the oldest helmsman, but we have got a very good team. Our execution over the course of a regatta has been good and if there is one reason why we might have a small advantage it is because of that. But it is a very small advantage: The margin of victory in this fleet is two or three seconds – the boats are very close.”


Photo: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

 

The Mini Maxi class (60-79ft) also has a strong line-up. Roberto Lacorte’s Mark Mills 68 Supernikka returns to defend her title, while she will be up against another Mills 68, the more thoroughbred racer, Prospector, which as Alegre and then Caol Ila R was one of the most competitive boats in what is now the Maxi 72 class. Also to be watched will be American Bryon Ehrhart’s Reichel Pugh 63, Lucky. Winner of last year’s Transatlantic Race, Lucky in her previous life was Loki, winner of the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

In 2015 the Mini Maxi Racer-Cruiser class had one of the tightest finishes and the top four boats return this year, including winner, Riccardo de Michele’s Vallicelli 80 H2O, which finished on equal points with Giuseppe Puttini’s Swan 65 Shirlaf (which this year will face stiff competition from new IMA member Marietta Strasoldo’s Swan 651 Lunz Am Meer.)

Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the IMA commented: “It will be an exciting year with a number of new boats competing, especially in the SuperMaxi division where a new generation of more race-oriented boats are appearing. The challenge of manoeuvring these huge craft around the tight courses around the islands of the Maddalena makes for a great spectacle and keeps so many sailors coming back year after year.”

Racing will take place over a mixture of windward-leeward and coastal courses. As usual there will be a magnificent social programme including the annual International Maxi Association Dinner and parties sponsored by Rolex and Audi.

Entry List

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 Tracking

 

#sail #race #racing

 

A Sea of Sails in Saint-Tropez (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

A Sea of Sails in Saint-Tropez (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

SANREMO, ITA – SAINT-TROPEZ, FRA – MONTE-CARLO, MON – June 13 – 21, 2014

The 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup enters its final phase tomorrow, Wednesday, with the start of the 241-nm offshore race. Some 213 yachts are expected to take part – a new record fleet. The mythical course which, in a normal year, takes crews from France to Italy, via the Giraglia rock off the northern tip of Corsica, offers something exceptional this year: a finish in Monte-Carlo. The unique opportunity to combine the finish of this celebrated race with the inauguration of the new Yacht Club de Monaco clubhouse has been embraced by the organizing clubs, race sponsor Rolex and, most significantly, the competitors.

The 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet ranges in size from 100-feet down to 30-feet. If conditions permit, Esimit Europa 2 – the largest and fastest yacht – will seek to dent its record time of 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds set in 2012 over a similar distance albeit with a finish in Sanremo just up the coast from Monte-Carlo. The yacht’s owner, Igor Simcic, is a member of the Yacht Club de Monaco so there is particular significance in his yacht’s quest to add a fourth line honours to her victory roll.

RÁN 5 (SWE) close to the shore as she leaves Saint-Tropez RAN 5, Sail n: SWE72, Owner: NIKLAS ZENNSTROM,  (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

RÁN 5 (SWE) close to the shore as she leaves Saint-Tropez
RAN 5, Sail n: SWE72, Owner: NIKLAS ZENNSTROM, (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

Cautious Optimism
Skipper Jochen Schümann understands the added importance of doing well, especially given the presence of a special crewmember onboard for the race: Pierre Casiraghi, younger son of Caroline, Princess of Hannover, and member of the YCM Management Committee. “The Giraglia Rolex Cup is one of the classic races in Europe alongside the Rolex Fastnet and Middle Sea Races,” he explains. “The start and finish are always spectacular. Saint-Tropez is one of the most scenic places in the Med, and this time we have a special finish in Monaco.”

 

Schümann is cautious when discussing prospects for the race record. According to the German Olympian the unsettled weather of the past few days looks set to continue with light airs across the racecourse: “If we get good steady breeze, there’s a chance for the record. Otherwise it will probably be slow.”

Intriguing Contest
Behind the Slovenian Maxi, an intriguing battle is shaping up among four highly competitive 72-ft Racing Mini Maxis. Andres Soriano, owner of Alegre and another member of the Yacht Club de Monaco, is excited by the prospect of finishing in Monte-Carlo. He has tasted success in this race before with a Line Honours victory in 2010 with his previous yacht. Soriano has enjoyed the competition of the Inshore Series over the past three days: “The Mini Maxis are very even, there is not much in it. Some are better in different conditions and a little luck with a wind shift can make the difference in getting one’s nose ahead.” He thinks this bodes well for a tight contest in the offshore race even if the larger yachts are not favoured by the forecast: “Ideally we’d be hoping for more wind at the beginning of the long race to take us down to the rock. The approach there early in the morning is always difficult.”

Another Olympian, this time Frenchman Thierry Peponnet, who has been coaching Niklas Zennström’s Ran 5 crew ahead of the offshore race, has also assessed the challenge this year: “It is special with the finish in Monaco. Normally the leg after the rock to Genoa is very smooth, dominated by light winds. This new course will make things a bit different, as the wind angles will change on the leg from the Giraglia to Monaco. We are waiting for the latest weather information to develop an appropriate strategy, but the team is very motivated; it is a race they want to win.”

Even though a professional yachtsman, Peponnet recognizes the Giraglia Rolex Cup delivers a distinctive flavour: “It is such a mythical race. Similar to the Rolex Sydney Hobart, enthusiastic and passionate amateurs come together and challenge themselves against the most professional of boats like Ran, Alegre etc… It unites sailors from all over the planet, Corinthians or professionals all together on the same starting line.” Peponnet has done the race a number of times and finds it an attractive challenge even if sometimes long. “You have to be patient,” he advises.

Saint-Tropez bids farewell to the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet Gulf of Saint Tropez (Photo  by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

Saint-Tropez bids farewell to the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet Gulf of Saint Tropez (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

Daring to Dream
Patience may be virtue further down the fleet. The current forecasts suggest a hole in the wind over Monaco on Thursday that may favour the smaller yachts if they bring the wind from the Giraglia. Last year’s winner Laurent Camprubi, the owner of French yacht Alizée, was thinking of only a class win in 2013. He ended up taking the overall trophy and the Rolex timepiece. What does he think about his prospects in 2014? “We came last year to win our division, we never imagined winning overall.  We are here again to win our division and funnily we have started thinking that we really could have a chance to win again.  It is a crazy dream but we have analysed the conditions and… yes, … may be.”

Camprubi would not be first to secure back-to-back victories, but he knows he needs favourable conditions, for his crew to work together, and good decision-making. That was achieved last year and: “It was really a perfect race.” If he had to give an advice to a crew doing the race for a first time it would be to never forget you are racing for fun: “You should come because of your passion for sailing and if the results go with you then of course it is magic. If you have given everything and the result is not so good, it should not be a drama.”

In encouraging those who have never done the race, Camprubi is a persuasive salesman summing up the virtues of an event that captures the imagination of all who participate: “For someone who has yet to discover the Giraglia Rolex Cup I would let them know that the race is just magic. The ambience here in Saint-Tropez, the small picturesque town, the huge numbers of competitors, the beautiful yachts, the quality of the crew, the course, the passage at the Giraglia Rock… the great welcome you get at the arrival, it is all quite extraordinary.”

ROBERTISSIMA III (ITA) leaving the Gulf of St Tropez after the start of the offshore race ROBERTISSIMA III, Sail n: GBR7236R, Owner: ROBERTO TOMASINI GRINOVER, Group 0 (IRC >18.05mt)  (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

ROBERTISSIMA III (ITA) leaving the Gulf of St Tropez after the start of the offshore race ROBERTISSIMA III, Sail n: GBR7236R, Owner: ROBERTO TOMASINI GRINOVER, Group 0 (IRC >18.05mt) (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

Spirited Support
According to Carlo Croce, President of the International Sailing Federation, President of the Yacht Club Italiano and, therefore, another passionate advocate for the race the opportunity to finish the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup in Monte-Carlo was too great to be missed: “The arrival in Monte-Carlo was decided upon because the Yacht Club de Monaco opens its new base this year and the inauguration of this new clubhouse will be exactly the same day when the most of the boats are crossing the finish line.” Croce emphasizes that the decision was made easy on other grounds: “The participants liked the idea; they are really enthusiastic about joining the opening party on Friday night. Furthermore, the Yacht Club de Monaco is twinned with the Yacht Club Italiano and we are pleased to share this special moment, even more so since Rolex is a partner of both clubs and has been fully supportive of the idea.”

The 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup race gets underway tomorrow at noon CEST. Rolex has been a partner of the event since 1997.

For more detailed information about the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup including results and race tracking please visit the Yacht Club Italiano website.

Big boat start of the offshore race in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez Race Start (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

Big boat start of the offshore race in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez Race Start (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi) photo id: 30789 Photo By: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi Get Hi-Res related

 

 

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).