Soldini v Fossett

60ft tri and 125ft cat to match race across the Med

Wednesday May 22nd 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Mediterranean
If the correct constellation comes to pass tomorrow, Giovanni Soldini's 60ft trimaran TIM may line up against Steve Fossett's maxi-catamaran PlayStation in a David and Goliath-style match race from Marseilles to Carthage, Tunisia as they both attempt to break the elusive Transmed record.

Currently this record is held by French yachts woman Florence Arthaud, who set a time for the 458 mile passage of 22 hours 9 minutes and 56 seconds at an average speed of 20.66 knots in August 1991.

"The weather iiiiisss not fantastic," Soldini told madfor sailing in his endearing Italian accent. He had just come out of meeting with his router Pierre Lasnier. "But it's still good to leave tomorrow." Of the possible match with PlayStation, the Around Alone winner was in fighting form. "We will beat them!"

Soldini set off on an attempt last week, but was forced to return they broke all their battens during a gybe. These have now been repaired. Fossett has also made an unsuccessful attempt on the record.

PlayStation's Dave Scully commented. "It's not a great pattern, but it might get us the record. The forecast is 20-25 knots northeasterly building to 35 knots with a shift to the west then dropping from 20-25 knots from Sardinia to the finish." The passage will involve three gybes. "We learned a few things last time and if we have a similar opportunity to what we had then, then we might get it this time."

The crew on TIM with Soldini (below) will be Vittorio Malingri, Guido Broggi, Tommaso Stella and Gerardo Siciliano. Steve Fossett has yet to announce their crew.

John Lennon?

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