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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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/.
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).
A professional 8-man crew including American Brad Van Liew challenges the Atlantic Ocean
The first ambitious 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 (Bahamas) on board Maserati, which has been completely overhauled. Maserati is a 70-foot racing yacht optimized for extreme speed.
In addition to skipper Soldini, Maserati will be crewed by 7 capable yachtsmen with a past track record in open ocean-going regattas and in competitions such as the America’s Cup. German Boris Herrmann (navigator), American Brad V an 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, 3884 miles long, is monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the international body that gives official status to the fastest sailing times along the historical routes once plied by clippers. In the past the record was set only by maxi trimarans. Maserati will attempt to be the first to establish the record for the monohull category. Two additional North Atlantic records that Soldini and crew will attempt to break in 2012 aboard Maserati include Miami-New York and New York-Lizard Point (UK).
“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.”
Those keen to have live coverage of the yachting ventures of Maserati should go to the new website www.maserati.soldini.it which will be on line starting today. In addition to news, video footage, and photos directly from the boat, browsers can be sure to find reports on the meteorological conditions and to keep tabs on the position and the speed of Maserati.
News will be provided on the three record attempts, as well as on movements between regatta locations and the onshore preparatory work. There will also be constant updates using prominent social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, shown on the home page.
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 (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.
Michel Kleinjans and Roaring Forty crossed the Leg 5 finish line of the Portimão Global Ocean Race after 20 days 22 hours 51 minutes and 28 seconds of racing from Charleston, South Carolina, on the final, North Atlantic section of the 33,000 mile circumnavigation.Two hours before Kleinjans crossed the finish line, the double-handed skippers in the fleet left the Marina de Portimão VIP pontoons at the Tivoli Hotel and motored out through the entrance of the River Arade, hoisted sail and set off to greet the fleet’s solo sailor led by a high-powered RIB carrying the Kleinjan’s family and journalists. Also on the RIB, representing the single-handed class, was Nico Budel, the Dutch race entrant who was forced to abandon his Open 40 Hayai having sustained dramatic keel bulb failure in the Southern Ocean on Leg 2 between Cape Town and Wellington, New Zealand.With westerly breeze, Kleinjans was forced to gybe away from the Portuguese coast, making a final gybe onto port when Roaring Forty layed the finish line and Kleinjans broad reached into the River Arade with a final flourish of pace, flanked by the overall double-handed winner Beluga Racer to starboard, the Chilean team on Desafio Cabo de Hornos to port and the British crew on Team Mowgli acting as vanguard astern of the Belgian Open 40.Immediately after crossing the line, Kleinjans snuffed the spinnaker and his friends and family climbed on board to start the celebrations. Once on the VIP pontoon, all the double-handed teams rushed to congratulate Belgium’s most popular solo sailor. Looking relaxed and full of energy, Kleinjans was eager to describe the last leg of the circumnavigation. “Apart from the stay breaking, this was quite a soft leg,” he explained, referring to the broken, starboard D1 shroud supporting the lower section of the yacht’s carbon fibre mast. “I was so far behind that it didn’t really matter,” he continues. Kleinjans left Charleston exhausted after overseeing repairs to Roaring Forty following the boat’s collision with a container ship in the later stages of Leg 4 east of Grand Bahama, and he admits that he was unable to push hard for the first few days of Leg 5.Although the jury system he rigged was strong and effective, Kleinjans had already dropped into a different weather system than the double-handed fleet. “I was just concerned I wouldn’t make the prize giving, that’s all!” he jokes. “If I had been a bit more confident about the time I had left, I think I would have stopped in the Azores for a beer!” Roaring Forty passed within a few miles Flores – the westernmost island in the Azores Archipelago – before passing north of the main group of five islands. “It was just a bit of tourism, really. I don’t think there are any shops there, so I would have had to go on to Faial, but in the end, I just kept going.”Despite dramas during every leg of the circumnavigation, Kleinjans was most concerned in the early stages shortly after the start last October. “My biggest worry was on the first leg when the V1 broke and I’d only just started the race and I really worried that the boat wasn’t strong enough to do the whole race,” he recalls. With such serious rigging failure, his confidence in the 12 year-old Open 40 boat was severely shaken. “In the end, the boat has proved to be very, very strong,” adds Kleinjans.
This is the second circumnavigation race for Kleinjans having competed in the 1985-86 Whitbread Round the World Race on a fully crewed yacht and he is immensely happy with completing a solo race around the planet, but getting back to a routine on land is a pleasing prospect. “I feel like going straight back to work right now!” he admits, laughing. “It has been a long race with a lot of days on the water and not every day is spectacular,” points out Kleinjans. “In fact, there are more days that are not so spectacular.”Despite this opinion, he doesn’t rule out a third circumnavigation. “You always think once is enough, but then you race around the world and you begin to look back and find out which bits you could have done better at and which tactical calls could have been better. It’s sort of unfinished business and you always know that you could have done better.” For the immediate future, Roaring Forty is now on the market. “The boat is for sale and as for me, I’m not sure,” says Kleinjans. “But definitely, sailing hasn’t seen the last of me, for certain!”