Maserati record attempts

Giovanni Soldini and an illustrious crew to attempt record program on their VO70

Thursday January 26th 2012, Author: Meaghan van Liew, Location: Italy

The first 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 in the Bahamas on board Maserati, the former Ericsson 3 VO70, which has been completely overhauled.

In addition to skipper Soldini, Maserati will be crewed by seven renowned yachtsmen with a past track record in oceanic regattas and in competitions such as the America's Cup. They include: German Boris Herrmann (navigator), American Brad Van 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 is 3884 miles long is on the roster of passage record held by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. In the past the record was set only by maxi-multihulls, fully crewed or solo. Maserati will attempt to become the first to establish a monohull record for this course. Two additional North Atlantic records that Soldini and crew will attempt to break in 2012 aboard Maserati include Miami-New York and New York-the Lizard.

"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."

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.

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.

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